Uzair Rizvi, BeyondHeadlibes
Lionel Messi kept his date with India as the Argentine landed in the football-crazy city of Kolkata in the early hours of Wednesday.
The fans missed his glimpse as he landed in Kolkata via Qatar at 3:10 and was escorted quietly by the security.
Jet-lagged, but the World Player of the year did not miss the training session on Wednesday morning. As he trained with the National side for an hour to take the applauses form the small gathering in the stadium.
The city is attracting many players; Maradona and Pele have already been here while Oliver Kahn played his last career match in Kolkata only.
He is here to play for Argentina in the International Friendly against Venezuela on 2nd September at the Salt Lake Stadium.
The buzz is all around the city while the teams are pretty focused on the match the crowd is sure to see Messi with his footballing skills and would love to see him scoring.
The attendance already draws some top officials for the West Bengal Government, where Governor MK Narayana, a football enthusiast have postponed the cabinet meeting scheduled on Wednesday to catch a glimpse of Messi.
The list also includes some top Bollywood Stars like Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham,Director Anurag Basu with many more names and other Business tycoons will also be there.
The security has been beefed up with over 5000 security personnel will guard the stadium and over 2000 personnel from combat police and RPF will manage the crowd.
Many football aficionados have thronged the city form Delhi,Mumbai,Chandigarh etc. to watch their Football star play. Around 1000 online booking from South India have been confirmed till now.
However, the ticket sales are just 56000 in the 1 lakh 20-thousand capacity stadium but there are expected to rise up after the arrival of Messi.
The Argentine side also includes some big names like Javier Mascherano,Ganzalo Higuain,Sergio Aguero,Angel DI Maria,Demichelles and Pablo Zaballeta.
But the crowd is there for one MAN and expect the fans go wild crazy when Messi takes on the field.