With the ongoing football World Cup, Indian soccer fans are back to their once-in-four-years ritual of fretting over the national team’s low FIFA ranking (154th).
But former national captain and football icon, Bhaichung Bhutia, who co-owns a football club and runs a chain of football schools, says, “Sport and glamour go hand in hand. Going glam may be the right dose for football in India. It may propel the sport further.”
Of late, glamour seems to have been added to the game in the form of Bollywood stars like Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham and Salman Khan, who have become co-owners of teams as part of an upcoming football league.
Even cricket icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are involved. Otherwise, too, actors like John, Ranbir, Aditya Roy Kapur and Abhishek Bachchan are also known to be huge football fans.
As for the ongoing World Cup, the team that Bhaichung is supporting is Germany. The Sikkimese star says, “The Germans (they last won the World Cup in 1990) have not won it in some time. I adore (German club) Bayern Munich, hence the German connection. I’d love to see Germany win this time.” And what about his favourite player? “(Lionel) Messi is someone I absolutely love. His style of play is just superb.”