Kolkata, August 17: The anticipated announcement of Lionel Messi in an Argentina squad to play Venezuela in an international friendly here next month is expected to unleash what is locals are calling Messi mania.
More than 15,000 tickets have already been sold online for the FIFA-sanctioned Sept. 2 match at the 100,000-capacity Salt Lake Stadium, but organizers are predicting a surge of sales in coming days when the squads are announced.
Football frenzies have struck in Kolkata before. Brazilian great Pele turned out for American team Cosmos Club in a friendly against local club Mohan Bagan in 1977, while German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn bid his farewell playing for Bayern Munich against Bagan in 2008. AP