On Thursday (13th December), the Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma became the first-ever La Liga brand ambassador in India. La Liga is a famous Spanish football league which has appointed a non-football player as their ambassador for the first time.
Football in India has recently gained some support with the introduction of football leagues, such as the Indian Super League (ISL). The right-handed batsman believes that ISL has provided a base for the world-famous game and has helped to grow the richness of the game in the streets of India.
Referring to ISL, Rohit said that ISL is just like IPL, the two events have provided the players with a platform to enhance and showcase their talent worldwide.
“I think it has become competitive. The infrastructure has grown immensely. ISL, in particular, has provided a great platform to all these younger Indian players to come out and display the skills just like IPL has done for Indian cricket I can only see the Indian football grow from here,” Rohit said.
Rohit names MS Dhoni as the number one footballer in the Indian team
The aggressive opener of India is the first non-footballer to be chosen as the face of the Spanish football league – La Liga. Rohit expressed his gratitude and happiness after becoming the La Liga brand ambassador, saying that he is honoured to be a part of such a high-profile league.
During the event, he named former Indian skipper and wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni as the number one footballer in India team.
“MS Dhoni is the number one football player. There are few guys like Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and Hardik Pandya they follow football and they do watch all these footballers,” Rohit said during the media briefing.
Renowned as HITMAN, Rohit said that football in Spain is like cricket in India. It is celebrated and lived just as cricket is played in India. He also claimed that although cricket was his first love, football was very close to his heart. He named Zinedine Zidane as his favourite footballer while his favourite club is Real Madrid. Rohit called Spain as his support in the FIFA World Cup.
“I always used to watch football when I was growing up. In India cricket is how football is in Spain. Everybody wants to pick up the bat and play cricket in India,” he added.
In the meantime, the Indian team will be girding up their loins for the first ODI clash against West Indies. The ‘Men in Blue’ already won the T20I series after defeating the visitors by 65 runs in the decider on last Wednesday night. The first ODI will be played on 15 December at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.