Namastey to my Indian friends! I have been to Kolkata and Siliguri in 2009 with Bayern and I’m very excited to come back here.
I’m thankful to the beautiful game which has taken me to different places. I was born in Weilheim (Upper Bavaria) and grew up in the small village of Paehl, which was unknown to the outside world till I was fortunate enough to win the ‘Golden Boot’ and the ‘Best Young Player’ award at the 2010 World Cup.
I came through the FC Bayern youth development programme and perhaps that’s why I have high hopes from the tour to India. We have heard so much about your country’s recent achievement in cricket and its rich history in hockey. It’s perhaps the right time for my club and our premier partner Audi, to take the initiative to encourage football in India. Imagine, what will happen to football if a nation with 1.2 billion people becomes obsessed with the game.
We can imagine the kind of adulation Bhaichung gets in India, and are privileged to be part of this match. I would also like to convey my deepest sympathy to the people of his home state, Sikkim, who were affected by the earthquake.
I understand how people, especially young ones, are most affected by the trauma of natural disasters. Back home in Germany, I try and do my bit for a charity, YoungWings, which helps children who have suffered from bereavement or trauma.
One has also heard a lot about the historic city of Delhi, where we will play the Indian national team. I’m told that Delhi stands for a “city with a heart”. Football is known to produce magic and passion. Let’s hope that we can build a strong bond with India.
(Mueller is a winner of the Golden Boot in the 2010 WC)