Over 2,000 delirious soccer lovers gave sleep the miss as they danced, cried and shouted slogans eulogising football magician Lionel Messi, who arrived in Kolkata early Wednesday amid stringent security for Fridays first eve
r FIFA official international in the Indian sub- continent featuring Argentina and Venezuela.
However, the large number of people, who were waiting for hours at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport to welcome the Argentine superstar, were left heartbroken as the organisers packed him into a vehicle from the tarmac and drove him out of the airport through a side gate.
The soccer lovers, who had defied drizzle to assemble in large numbers to welcome their hero in the wee hours, failed to get a glimpse of the Argentine genius. Earlier the crowd of mostly die- hard fans of the 24- year- old football icon made it a carnival atmosphere at the airport.
Many sported the sky blue and white jerseys of the Argentine team, and carried flags of the Latin American side. Wild cheers of ” Messi, Messi” were heard incessantly.
” We will stay here all night. For the next few days we will savour every minute of the historic occasion,” said Manas Dutta of the Nabin Sangha Fans Club, wearing Messis number 10 jersey.
Muscat- based marine engineer Amrit Sarkar, who boarded Qatar Airwaysalt39 flight No QR 294, will not forget his flight from Doha to Kolkata as you donalt39t often have the privilege of being co- passenger of worlds best footballer. However, Sarkar will regret all his life that he was late in fishing out his SLR camera, which could have given an opportunity that would have stayed etched in his memory for a long time to come.