Dhaka: 2:13 AM, Fri, 22 Feb, 2019

Indian who cycled to Russia to meet Messi

A K Azad : risingbd.com
Publish on: 2018-06-21 12:44:50 PM     ||     Updated: 2018-06-21 8:42:37 PM

Risingbd Desk: Clifin Francis was sitting at home in southern India when a friend asked if he was going to the World Cup.

"Of course," he replied. "I might even travel to Russia to watch the extravaganza."

That was in August - but he had no idea how he would afford the air tickets from Kerala where he lives. Mr Francis is a freelance maths teacher and earns $40 (£30) a day.

"I realised I wouldn't have enough money to travel to Russia and stay for a month. Then I asked myself - what could be the cheapest way of travelling? Bicycle was the answer."

Friends didn't believe him, but by then he'd made up his mind.

On 23 February, he started on an epic journey that took him by air to Dubai, and then ferry to Iran. From there the Russian capital is still more than 4,200km (2,600 miles) away by bike.

The prize at the end - a chance to see his hero, Argentina's Lionel Messi, arguably the best footballer in the world.

"I love cycling and I am crazy about football. I simply combined two of my passions," Mr Francis said.

He had planned to travel via Pakistan but had to drop the idea because of tense relations with India.

Source: BBC

risingbd/Dhaka/June 21, 2018/A K Azad