‘India truly loves Lionel Messi’: Photo of Messi cut-out in middle of Kerala river goes viral

Videos and pictures are shared by football lovers from different parts of the world and featured by Argentinian media

BySreerag PS

Published Nov 02, 2022 | 1:35 PMUpdatedMar 03, 2023 | 11:22 PM

A 30-feet cut-out of Argentina football captain Lionel Messi was installed in the middle of a Kerala river by football fans from Pullavoor, Kozhikode

Photos of a 30-feet cut-out of Argentinian football star Lionel Messi in the middle of a river in Kerala are trending all over the internet.

The football-crazy people in Kerala are known for their unique ways to support their favourite teams. The state has a significant number of fans for Latin American football, especially the Argentina and Brazil teams.

Football World Cups are celebrated in Kerala with so much vigour that the streets get decorated with flags, cut-outs, and flex boards, which often result in a minor tussle between fan groups.

As the 2022 World Cup is scheduled to kick off in Qatar this month on 20 November, a massive cut-out of Messi was installed in the middle of the Kurungattu Kadavu river by Argentina football team fans from Pullavoor village in Kozhikode district.

The fans from Kerala shared a video of young men carrying the Messi cut-out before it was erected in the river.

Also read: Kerala Blasters stage walkout after controversial goal by Sunil Chhetri in ISL

‘India home to one of the biggest Argentina fan base’

The videos and pictures were shared by football lovers from different parts of the world and featured by Argentinian media.

“India truly loves Lionel Messi,” tweeted Roy Nemar, owner of Mundo Albiceleste, which reports mainly on the Argentina Football Team.

A fan account named ‘Argentina Football team’ with nearly half a million followers on Facebook too shared the image saying, “World Cup Fever! India is home to one of the biggest Argentina fan base.”

Fans from Kerala confident of Argentina, Messi win

In an interview with Media One, one of the Kerala fans involved in placing the Messi cut-out in the middle of the Kurungattu Kadavu river said, “When you look at the statistics so far, Messi has performed well in terms of goals as well as assists in World Cups. We hope it will continue this year too.”

“Since I was born, Argentina has never lifted a World Cup. Our support for Argentina will continue irrespective of whether the team wins the cup,” said another fan.

The fans from Kerala believe Messi and his Argentina team will be able to clinch the golden trophy in Qatar, similar to what the nation achieved under the leadership of Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup.

The Argentina football team has been playing well and is unbeaten in its last 35 matches. The unbeaten run also includes clinching two trophies, Copa America and CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions (Finalissma).

Messi has indicated that this World Cup would be his last. Argentina will be hoping for their third World Cup title, which would be a crowning achievement in the illustrious career of Messi.

The Qatar World Cup is expected to have a significant Malayali participation, considering the ex-pat population in the country.