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Indian Super League is here to lift football to higher level

Indian Super League is here to lift football to higher level
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The concept of city-based teams and home and away matches to be played over a span of 50 days was new and had its share of risks in India. Yet, IPL turned out to be a billion-dollar baby. ISL has no doubt introduced the much-needed commercial angle to Indian football.

Talking about star value, apart from the presence of cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, both co-owners of ISL franchises, the league also features some of the biggest names doing the rounds in international football till just a few years back like Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Joan Capdevila, Luis Garcia, Nicolas Anelka and David Trezeguet. Playing along side such big names will surely help the young Indian footballers lift their own games by several notches.

ISL has already created a buzz and the sense of anticipation too is growing with the league at the half-way stage. ‘As footballers we all dream of playing in Europe and experiencing the professional set-up that they have. But with Indian Super League (ISL), the same thing is replicated here. The professional approach of the franchisees is amazing, both on and off the field. The right mix of celebrities and corporates has given the game a boost like never before,’ said Mumbai City player and ex-India captain Syed Rahim Nabi. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before. We trained in Spain and did exactly what Spanish champions Atletico Madrid were doing. Every aspect of the game is tackled professionally. Whether it’s training, diet or competition, there is very little that could have been done better,’ said Luis Garcia, captain of Atletico de’s Kolkata.

Bollywood star and Mumbai City FC’s owner Ranbir Kapoor too shared his journey with Millennium Post. ‘ISL is impetus enough for Indian football fans to show renewed interest in the game, as the league has marked the beginning of quality matches, great skill display and close finishes. We have invested passion. We just not bring the core crowd to our stadia but also attract wider audience, like kids and women thronging the stadium,’ he said.

‘Generations of fans for close to a century have lived and breathed football in Kolkata. They have fiercely argued for their own clubs, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan etc. However, the scene would change with the advent of ISL. Suave industrialists, cricketers and movie stars have come together in a bid to add glamour and money to a sport dying a slow death for decades after early promise,’ said Sourav Ganguly.

Fans of football will hope ISL continues to play a key role in developing Indian football, right from the grass-root level to the top.
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