Unexpectedly, there is a lot of enthusiasm among Kolkata’s football enthusiasts due to rumours that two football legends from Argentina, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, may visit the city in 2024.
Sports Promoter Satadru Dutta, who has previously brought several legends to Kolkata, has revealed in a conversation with Times Now, that the duo will be in Kolkata in 2024, albeit in separate trips.
Notably, both of them will be coming to Kolkata post the General Elections, as providing security will be a task before that. If this materialises, the football-loving crowd in Kolkata will have an absolute blast.
Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, and Di Maria, known for his dazzling skills and versatility, could bring a new dimension to the sport in Kolkata.
Lionel Messi’s visit could also extend to January 2024, keeping in mind the Major League Soccer (MLS) winter break. The talismanic striker, who had won the FIFA World Cup 2022, will be flown in during that break.
Lionel Messi has previously visited Kolkata in 2011
The City of Joy had several reasons to be happy and ecstatic in 2011. Apart from India’s historic ICC ODI World Cup victory, Kolkata also greeted the legendary players in the form of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
He came to the iconic and prestigious Salt Lake Stadium on 2nd September 2011 to play an international friendly game between Argentina and Venezuela. Several stalwarts and dignitaries of India including Ranbir Kapoor, Usha Uthup, Shaan and Bhaichung Bhutia were present in the stadium during this historic match.
Nicolas Otamendi was the chief architect of the 1-0 sloppy win of Argentina over Venezuela. Notably, Messi had captained his country for the first time in this game.
“the last time I stepped into India, I was overwhelmed with the warmth and passion this country showered on me. India left its famously lasting impression and with that lingering memory, my family and I have always wanted to develop an association with that country,” Messi had said in an interview about India.
Kolkata is a hotbed for football in India and has a rich legacy of football. Two of the most iconic football clubs in India, East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan, belong from Kolkata and they rule the roost when it comes to the history and evolution of this sport in India.
If Messi once again graces the City of Joy, it would invite unprecedented love, joy and happiness in the lives of every resident of the capital of West Bengal.