Lionel Messi & Co. will take on Nigeria for a second FIFA international friendly in Dhaka on September 6, Tuesday at Bangladesh time 6.30pm. Heavy security arrangements have been put up for the Argentina Vs Nigeria match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium Stadium. The TOI reported that a large number of Bangladeshi soccer fans are felling priced out due to high cost of ticket. A minimum ticket prices of 7,500 taka (100 dollars) and the expense of Eid celebrations last week marking the end of Ramadan has left rows of empty seats at the 24,000-capacity Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Earlier the Argentines defeated Venezuela 1-0 in a match on Saturday in Kolkata. The Argentines held practice sessions in Kolkata and are scheduled to fly out of Kolkata at 9.30 AM on Monday.
Dream come true for Indian Soccer Fans
It was a dream come true for Kolkata and Indian football fans who witnessed the world’s best footballer in action right in their backyard. PTI reported that Lionel Messi ended his five-day Kolkata sojourn on Sunday, mesmerising a thousand-odd crowd which had sneaked in during Argentina’s ‘closed doors’ practice session at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata.
There was no let-up in their practice session either as Alejandro Sabella’s boys geared up for the Nigeria challenge in Dhaka on September 6 with a rigorous session lasting more than an hour.
After routine stretch-ups, Sabella divided the squad into two equal groups as Messi and his first-team partners, including the likes of Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuain, registered a 2-0 win.
Messi scored the first goal dribbling from the midfield with a solo run in the first half, while Higuain struck in the second session.
Even in his last appearance at the sprawling 120,000 capacity stadium, Messi enthralled the handful crowd by not only scoring a goal during the practice match, but also dispatched three footballs to the stand with his powerful left-footer before entering the players’ tunnel, waving his last goodbye.
It was quite an emotional moment as the spectators stood up, giving an ovation to the Argentine magician as cries of ‘Messi, Messi’ reverberated in the gallery.
I earned the respect of my peers: Messi
In the meantime, striker Lionel Messi said an Argentine newspaper that he earned the respect of his peers and that’s why the new captain of the Argentina in the new cycle that has Alejandro Sabella as a coach. In addition, the Barcelona star admitted bringing the captain’s armband in the friendly against Venezuela “was special.”
Messi said: “The responsibility is the same we all have with the national team. I thought it was time to use it and hopefully bring me luck. I’m happy, calm and thankful.”
Commenting about Messi’s role in the match against Venezuela Sabella said, “From your feet can get anything. He failed to make any Gole against Venezuela, but made a great game. You have to leave him alone”.
With PTI inputs