The Telegraph
Saturday , March 15 , 2014
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India has left a lasting impression, says Leo

Lionel Messi

Bangalore: Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, on Friday, said India left a “lasting impression” on him when he set foot on the country nearly three years ago.

“I may have visited India only once, but the warmth the country showered on me left me overwhelmed. The passion for football was unbelievable. India left a lasting impression on me and with that lingering memory, my family and I have always wanted to develop an association with the country,” Messi said in a statement.

Calcutta played host to Argentina’s international friendly against Venezuela on September 2, 2011. For the record, that was also Messi’s first match as captain. Argentina had won the match, courtesy a Nicolas Otamendi strike off a Messi corner.

The visit was marked by a never-seen-before hysteria among football fans. As many as 85,000 people turned out for the match and they were not left disappointed.

Celebrity commerce company Collectabillia, in partnership with iAccy, on Friday, announced its association with the four-time Ballon d’Or winner for exclusive rights to manufacture, retail and distribute a range of covers for mobiles, laptops and tablets under the player’s own brand, Messi.