Messi fan pedals across 12 countries

Messi fan pedals across 12 countries

Marcando Paso. DH Photo/Arjun Ganesh

Limits are meant to be pushed and that is exactly what Marcando Paso has been doing for years now.

The Argentine cycling enthusiast, who has traversed treacherous terrain in north India, took up a slightly different challenge in March. One that was more passion-driven than before. He was going to risk it all for Lionel Messi and Argentina.

Now based out of Barcelona, Paso decided to cycle all the way to the World Cup, with the target of reaching Moscow before the event kicked off.

“I wanted to show the passion I have towards football and more importantly how crucial the World Cup is for Argentina. I have done this to inspire Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano at this World Cup,” he said, his voice brimming with pride.

Paso wasn’t bothered by adversities and he pedalled through 12 different countries before finally reaching Bronnitsy where Argentina are based.

“I have travelled 4,000 km across 12 countries which are Spain (country of origin), France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and finally Russia.”

With a target of 80-120 km a day, Paso also found company along the way as another fan from Prague decided to pedal his way to Russia. With no training prior to this journey, the company came as a blessing for Paso.

“The first three weeks were tough. I never trained for this and that’s why it took a toll on me. When I started off, I did not think I’ll reach here by June 14 for the opening game. It was a personal challenge and it worked because here I am. There was another rider but he did not travel as much as me. We rode together for the last month from Prague and that definitely helped,” added Paso.

Considering the pain he’s gone through to get this far, Paso will witness just one World Cup game when Argentina take on Nigeria in St Petersburg on June 26. And for now, the man has had enough of cycling and is taking a free fan train from Moscow.

“I only have a ticket for the Nigeria-Argentina match. I’m using the free train to go there and not riding for sure! But if Argentina make it to the next round, I may be financially equipped to watch another game.”
Whatever the case, Paso is going to be in Moscow till the end of the tournament. “I’m here in Russia for the next month and I’ll head back on July 15 to Spain by bicycle. The party goes on till 11 pm on July 15.”