Paul Breitner, legendary German World Cup winner, recently spoke about how India could become a powerful footballing country in a couple of decades. While people may have scoffed or laughed at him, claiming that India’s forte is cricket or hockey, it’s important to remember that football is going through quite a transition in the country. Today’s youth watch the Premier League and Champions League like it’s going out of style, and the ISL has gripped audiences of all ages. So, maybe there is a bit of truth in the ex-German footballer’s prediction.
Doing his bit is Indian football captain, Sunil Chhetri, who is working on developing the sport in the country. One of only 3 footballers from the subcontinent to play abroad, Chhetri is sure to give the youth some valuable input on what they can do to become better and play better. His stint at Sporting Clube de Portugal (better known as Sporting Lisbon) in 2012 gave a ray of hope to aspiring footballers in India, letting them know that one day they too can play in the big leagues. Although Chhetri did not spend a lot of time with the Primeira Liga team, he’s partnered with them again to do something far more interesting.
The national captain has been named brand ambassador of an initiative called DreamChasers, which has him going on a nation-wide hunt to find 15 talented youngsters between the ages of 8 and 14. After 15 days of scouting across 9 cities, the selected youth will be shifted to the Dr. Cyrus Poonawala International School in Kolhapur, where they will train under top-class coaches and technical experts from Sporting Lisbon.