Sevilla willing to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona in Indian market: General Director Jose Maria Cruz
La Liga giant Sevilla FC tied up with I-League 2nd division club Bengaluru United FC last month. In a virtual media interaction last week, Sevilla General Director Jose Maria Cruz said that India has become one of their main targets for the international strategy as they plan solid long-term growth to develop talents so that the homegrown players can be a permanent fixture in European leagues.
"For me, the most important thing is to achieve a more solid long-term growth, with more players so that football in India can grow," Cruz said.
But India has largely been a nation obsessed with two other La Liga clubs - Barcelona and Real Madrid. The two clubs get huge media attention from football fans in the country, and their popularity can be ascertained with the revenue generated from the merchandise sales of both the clubs. So, competing in the Indian market with Madrid or Barcelona a worry for Sevilla?
"Obviously, all the major European football clubs, and football clubs from South America, and North America want our dimension to become much more worldwide. In the global world, we must compete against the major brands, with major sports organisations," Cruz said.
"With teams which have the best-known talents from the media perspective. We are fully aware that it is impossible nowadays to be the only one who carries out activities in only one country. There are no barriers preventing us all from doing the same thing," he added.
"We are competing in Spain from the sports perspective, and from a brand's perspective, we are competing in our city of Seville, we also compete in our region, Andalusia, and in Spain and in Europe, and we are competing with these major brands and these major teams.
"With these teams that have hundreds of millions of followers and fans across the world, and who receive most of the attention from the media. And, in many cases, they are associated with the fame of their players. Barcelona with Messi is a completely different thing if you compare to Barcelona without Messi," he added.
"Exactly how Real Madrid with or without Cristiano Ronaldo are not exactly the same thing either," Cruz insisted.
"We are more than willing to compete, we are not afraid of competing against other people. Our ambition has no limits because we never surrender. We always aspire, and we want to achieve what is beyond our possibilities," he signed off.