The Indian Super League can be in other words be believed as the ushering of a new era in Indian Football. Is it the popularity in the sport? Critics would say we have the Durand Cup, the I-League, the Federation Cup? So why are celebrities creating fluttering waves in showing the interest to Reliance’s new trendsetter to Indian Football. It’s the enormous buzz that the event around has created so much of expectations right before even the stepping stone is correctly put on the platter.
Co owner of the Kolkata Franchise and former Indian Cricket captain Sourav Ganguly seems delighted with his new co-acquisition. Talking to ABP Ananda, a leading Bengali news channel, Ganguly couldn’t hold back his excitement for the game he once played, that too much before picking up his coveted willow in his own backyard.
Ganguly is all smiles after bagging the Kolkata franchise alongside industrialists Sanjiv Goenka and Harsh Neotia along with financial backup from Utsav Parekh and Spanish premier league side Atletico Madrid. The Los Rojiblancos are currently atop the La Liga standings and look well placed to break Real Madrid and Barcelona’s hegemony in Spanish football. Atletico’s official website carried the following message.
“As part of its global expansion plan, Atletico de Madrid introduces its first international franchise to the Indian market with Atletico de Madrid Kolkata which will compete in the Indian Super League. “I am very excited to have won the Kolkata Franchise of the ISL and being the First International Team to be directly owning a Club in India we along with our Indian Partners and IMG-Reliance aim to revolutionize football in the country”, said Miguel Angel Gil, CEO of Atletico Madrid.
Dada as he is affectionately called felt this might a huge stepping stone for Indian Football to progress in the future. Ganguly felt the technical abilities, the standards of training, the expertise of a top flight European Giant can take forward Indian Football on the World Map. Our country has been handled the ignominy of disdain, currently being 145th in the FIFA Rankings.
The Southpaw opens up in the interaction for the love of the game, on how he felt the atmosphere at Old Trafford, Emirates and Camp Nou generated when he was watching from the stands. Dada recalls how he used to watch United’a home games every Saturday when he played county cricket for Lancashire in the early 200’s. The Prince of Kolkata felt that his desire to puruse new endeavours in life still drives him forward, like the highly popular Dadagrir show in Bengali Television.
On being asked whether he would like to beat his friend and batting partner Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly joked, “We are now on opposite sides of the sideline. Dada in a light mode continued, “I have to teach him football. He doesn’t play football that well. The way he puts bat to ball, he doesn’t have that much control over football. Now he has to pick up the nuances of soccer to compete with the Kolkata franchise.”
If winter splashes its wings to announce its arrival, can spring be far behind? Colin Powell’s words reverberate through my minds as I diligent give form to my words. A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
Enjoy the video and do let us know whether this Indian Super League will usher a new phase in Indian Football.