Many people have gone to great lengths to watch their team play. Travelled many miles, worked extra hours. But surely no one has ever gone as far as Miguel the Peru fan.
The 2018 World Cup is Peru’s first World Cup for 36 years and understandably the entire nation has got right behind Los Incas. An unbelievable 43,582 Peruvians have made the 18 hour journey to Russia to cheer on their side.
However one stands above all others in his commitment to watch his national team.
Miguel, 24, was desperate to watch Peru in Russia, but with demand so high all the tickets were sold out before he was able to get one.
Us mere mortals would have accepted our fate, sentenced to watching the World Cup on TV. But Miguel wasn’t giving up just yet. He explains in his own words (via the DPA agency).
”The tickets were sold out right away, and I couldn’t go to the World Cup. I’m more of a fan of Peru than of my team, Universitario. I went to all the matches in the qualifiers, even when there were only 20,000 against Ecuador. I had sworn to come to Russia.
”The only tickets that remained on the FIFA website were tickets for the disabled. I noticed what the requirements were: being in wheelchairs, something specific for women and suffering from morbid obesity, 35 BMI, the body mass index. I looked at mine, I was in 30 and I did accounts, I had to raise 25 kilos (almost four stone).
”First I bought the tickets and then I started to get fat, I ate a lot of carbohydrates, I had three months to present the medical certificates for body obesity, luckily I was able to comply and FIFA accepted it.
”For the benefit of the doubt, I continued eating.”
Take a bow Miguel, literally one of Peru’s biggest fans.
However, Miguel isn’t the only one that has gone to extraordinary lengths to watch his side. Marco Garcia, a businessman from Lima, explained some of the other sacrifices fans made.
”I know people who sold their cars.” Marco Garcia said.
”And a friend of mine thought about breaking his leg, also to get disabled people in, but he did not feel encouraged.”
Peru’s World Cup didn’t get off to the greatest of starts. Despite a good performance, the Peruvians missed crucial chances, including Christian Cueva’s first-half penalty miss. Denmark went on to win the match 1-0.
Following his mammoth months of eating, Miguel will be hoping that Peru can bounce back, and make it into the knockout stages.