Who is Ochirvaani Batbold Man United fan from Mongolia who cycled for 11 months to see his team play at Wembley

Who is Ochirvaani Batbold Man United fan from Mongolia who cycled for 11 months to see his team play at Wembley

Ochirvaani Batbold is a Manchester United fan from Mongolia who cycled all the way to the UK for 11 months to see his favourite team play, find out more about him and his journey below

Batbold was among the 83,672 fans at Wembley on Sunday, where United beat Coventry on penalties to reach the FA Cup final.

Who is Ochirvaani Batbold as Man United fan from Mongolia who cycled for 11 months to see his team play at Wembley

Batbold is set to spend his next three days cycling from London to Manchester via Leicester and Derby to watch the next game against Burnley on Sunday.

Ochirvaani Batbold

Ochirvaani Batbold is a Manchester United fan from Mongolia who made an 11-month long journey to watch his favourite team play. The 26-year-old cycled nearly 7,000 kilometres to reach his destination. While sharing about himself, Batbold stated that that he always loved football and started playing as a teenager. He dreamed about playing for Manchester United one day and played professional football for 10 years.

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After starting off his first two years very successfully in the top league in Mongolia, his career took a downward trajectory as he suffered a lot of injuries and depression in the next three years. And in the next five years, Batbold shared how he just tried to play football. He shared how his love for United stems from its dramatic comebacks, great players, his admiration for Sir Alex Ferguson, and the team’s never-give-up mentality.

Ochirvaani Batbold’s journey to watch Manchester United play

After failing to realise his dream of one day playing for Manchester United, Ochirvaani Batbold started looking for another way to make his dream come true. However, he did not want just anything easy and instead wanted to do something inspiring. As such, he eventually decided to go to Manchester by road and began making plans for the next two years.

Interestingly, he made the decision to cycle just two weeks before the trip. He was initially set on running, but he needed a team, a car, and lots of money for that. Moreover, he did not tell his family, friends, and others about it until a week before he left. Batbold shared how he did not want to take other people’s advice because he felt people wouldn’t understand his plans.

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He shared how people would only talk about impossible things and that he decided to believe in achieving his goals. Batbold started off his journey back on May 5, 2023. Throughout his journey, he would wake up at 7 am and cycle around 100 kilometres every day. He shared:

That would take me 8-10 hours [each day]. I would eat lunch at a cafe but I also carried Borts, an air-dried meat cut into long strips which were hung in the shade.”

So when I only have water and salt I can cook and eat,” explains Batbold.

Visa problems in the UK

During his journey, Batbold notably travelled through different countries like China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and France before finally reaching England.

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However, he had encountered a visa problem in the UK in the Schengen area. As such, he had to put on hold his original plan of reaching Manchester in December or January. After much struggle, Ochirvaani Batbold eventually got the support of the Mongolian Government. While sharing about his experience of seeing his favourite team live, he stated:

It was incredibly stressful for me because I was hoping to see United win in my first match. When we conceded the goal in the last minute, I thought it was over. But fortunately it was offside. Finally we won on penalties. The game encapsulated all the emotions of football. It was an amazing experience for me.”

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