Football fans in Kerala were in for a pleasant surprise when former Chelsea and PSG coach Thomas Tuchel was spotted at the Cochin international airport on Wednesday.
Two young football fans sporting the Chelsea jersey greeted the German at the airport early on Wednesday morning.
Tuchel was sacked as Chelsea’s head coach last month following the club’s lacklustre start in the new season, but he is still adored by Blues fans.
Joby John from Kochi and Anoop from Edakochi got wind of Tuchel’s arrival in Kochi after a Chelsea fan in Doha alerted Chelsea fans in football-crazy Kerala about Tuchel boarding a flight to Kerala, Onmanorama reported.
Joby, a die-hard Chelsea fan, decided to travel to Kochi airport well past midnight.
‘If this was a chance to meet Tuchel, I wasn’t going to miss it. Anyway, I can’t fly to Germany to meet him,’ a delighted Joby told Onmanorama.
Joby, who works as an accountant in Kochi, along with Anoop took the 30 km ride to airport on a scooter past midnight despite the heavy rain.
‘We reached the airport after 1 am and kept waiting. Based on the information we had from Doha, the flight bringing Tuchel was to land by 2 am. By around 2.45 am there he was. We screamed and kept waving. He saw us and was definitely surprised,’ Joby said.
‘He was such a gentleman. He asked us how we knew he would be there. We told them the story and he was really happy. He let us take selfies. We told him how much we love him. It was such a surreal experience,’ Joby said.
While fans in Kerala speculated of Tuchel was taking up a role with the ISL side Kerala Blasters, it is believed that he was in God’s Own Country for its famous Ayurveda treatment.
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