Kolkata eagerly awaits Messi show - Wall Street Journal (blog)

When it comes to sport in India, it is rarely above, that the hysterical losgekommen usually for Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly reserved any person outside of cricket, the way to generate. But Argentine football star Lionel Messi does just that, and his arrival in Kolkata for a friendly against Venezuela has sent the Eastern Indian town in a spin.


Wave of Argentine and Indian flags, like Messi the arrival in Calcutta on Wednesday wait Dibyangshu Sarkar/Agence France-Presse/Getty image Indian fans of Lionel Messi, Argentine footballer. Slide show view.

Kolkata, West Bengal, is India's football Center. Forget Team India and concert tickets: fans in this part of the world are passionate about Latin American sides, in particular Brazil and Argentina. It again all stems of Pele and Diego Maradona, then, the both football observers in India (and worldwide) with their sublime skills impressed. Maradona won of course millions of additional Indian fans, when he destroyed (ahem) England in the quarter-finals of World Cup 1986 alone.

Although still in the relatively early stages of his career, Messi, 24, is already Pelé and Maradona at the top of the list of sizes. His arrival in India is starved to death a big deal for a country of football stars and FIFA knows it. India remains a large and largely unused market for the sport. What other reason it would be for two South American countries, whose Spieler either operate their trade there or in Europe, according to India for a one-off match to fly? This is on the most commercial and Messi is the rhythmic, money-spinning wheel in the middle. Sport stores the blue and white stripes Argentina days of trade should enjoy a healthy.

Friday game at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata Messi are initially as Argentina's captain, as well as Alejandro Sabella debut as coach of the national team. Venezuela has struck still no Argentina in 17 attempts, but are a tougher statement after reaching the semi-finals in the last Copa América. Argentina crashed the tournament in the quarter-finals after a defeat after Uruguay on penalties, the disposal of coach Sergio Batista asked.

Argentina is in a rebuilding phase during Venezuela with a rare high. Friday night in Kolkata, which have whatever the result, have little effect on the team's international friendly matches, honestly, pretty meaningless are. But it means much, you will find people of Kolkata, in particular the 120,000 Stadium, Messi & co. of first hand playing Salt Lake under fill.

This is a great crowd for Messi, plays of the week in week enormous Nou Camp in Barcelona, with a capacity of approx. 100.000. Kolkata Salt Lake Stadium, also it-Pyongyang, North Korea known as YUVA Bharato Krirangan, which is world's second largest stadium, the football matches, according to the 150,000-seater Rungrado may day Stadium in-yes hosts, you guessed.

By the thousands in Kolkata today evening have four children especially memorable. Save the children has took four young people from the most marginalized communities in the city on the pitch with the players, so do not go only they will say that she saw Messi play, they will also be able to revel in the fact that they kept the great player hand.

Can Mr Davies on Twitter @ WillMHDavies follow.

via:News Sports

Kolkata eagerly awaits Messi show - Wall Street Journal (blog)