John Abraham and Baichung Bhutia.
As Rohit Dhawan’s Desi Boyz rakes it in at the box office, John Abraham is stepping into a completely different territory — football. The actor is set to start work on his sports academy in three to four months. “Yes, it’s an absolute fact,” confirms John, who will be teaming up with former Indian footballer Baichung Bhutia for the project.
“We wanted to open the academy a long time ago. We even got the permissions from the Sikkim government and the authorities have given us 15 acres of land. We were ready to start the operations when the unfortunate earthquake. So, we put everything on hold. But now we are set to revisit the project in another three-four months.”
Adding that he and Baichung are “excited about starting the football academy, or rather sports academy” together, he says, “We want to mainly develop football players, but the aim is to inculcate fitness as a holistic concept in the country. Since Baichung is from Sikkim, I think it’s the best place to start at. If I have to buy land in Mumbai, it would be a virtually impossible task.”
The Dostana (2008) actor also plans to set up the academy in other parts of the country eventually. “For me, football and motorcycling are the loves of my life. I will go all out for sports,” says John, adding, “Both of us are taking care of the business model, but Baichung is the decision maker in terms of when we rope in players or how they go about their practice schedules. I think he is better equipped for that.”
However, right now, what makes John beam is Desi Boyz. “People loved my comic timing. I’ve been told that I’m looking very fresh. My pairing with Deepika Padukone has also been appreciated. The best compliment I’ve received is that ‘I am an all-round hero’ now — I can do action, comedy and I can dance. It’s a good feeling,” he says.