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  1. #1
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    Default Messi likely to arrive in Kolkata on Wednesday

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    Even as the organisers of Argentina vesus Venezuela international friendly are tightlipped about Lionel Messi's arrival in the city for security reasons, the FC Barcelona star is expected to reach here in the wee hours of Wednesday.
    After their experience of a slip-up during Diego Maradona's tour to city about three years ago, the Celebrity Management Group are wary about any repeat.
    More than 50,000 people had lined up on the streets of football-crazy Kolkata at midnight when Maradona, accompanied by girlfriend Veronica, had arrived in December 2008..

    There was a see-through bus arrangement but Maradona preferred another vehicle as he had headed to the team hotel as people, wearing Argentine jerseys and carrying Maradona's cutouts and posters, welcomed him.
    It seems the same organisers, this time, don't want a repeat of this.
    "We don't want to disclose the timing of Messi's arrival.
    Let people speculate on their own. We don't want to put any extra pressure on Messi when he lands here. We don't want a security slip up," Dharamdutt Pandey, CEO of the sports management firm, told PTI.
    Incidentally, the organisers had sent out a detailed arrival timings of the other Argentina players including coach Alejandro Sabella who came with deputy Julian Camino and 15 others this morning.
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  2. #2
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    Default Lionel Messi arrives in Kolkata





    Lionel Messi kept his date with the football crazy city as he landed in the wee hours of Wednesday along with Javier Mascherano but by giving miss to the thousands of hysteric fans who gathered at the airport in the unearthly hours.
    The Barca duo, who were held back for their La Liga match against Villareal late Tuesday, came via Qatar as their flight landed sharp at 3.15 am.
    But more than a thousand Messi supporters many wearing his No. 10 jersey started pouring in from 2 am onwards.



    Braving few spells of rain, the supporters danced, shouted slogans of 'Three Cheers for Messi', held life-size Messi banners as delirious scenes were witnessed outside the main gate of the International terminal.
    But nobody had a clue from which gate Messi was being brought out.
    No one including the hordes of media men gathered at the airport could get an information about Messi's movement as the Argentine superstar and his Barca teammate Mascherano along with three other Venezuelans were taken out discreetly under high security cover.
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  3. #3
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    Default Messi magic set to unfold in high-profile friendly

    Superstar footballer Lionel Messi is set to keep his date with India and unfold his magic when he leads Argentina in a FIFA international friendly against Venezuela in Kolkata on Friday when the euphoria of one of the most high-profile matches in the country reaches the crescendo.



    History will be scripted at the 120,000-capacity Yuba Bharati Krirangan at Salt Lake here when the two time world champions with the world's best footballer in their ranks take on their South American rivals.

    The 24-year-old Messi, the twice World Footballer of the Year and nicknamed 'The Flea', will be cynosure of all eyes for the football-crazy city that had in the past hosted the likes of Pele, Oliver Kahn, Diego Maradona, Gerd Muller and Diego Forlan.
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