Bayern munich cause football frenzy in calcutta

Bayern Munich Cause Football Frenzy in Calcutta

German football team Bayern Munich have caused football mania in the Indian city of Calcutta, where they will become the first big European club to play in India. The team have arrived in the city to play a friendly match against local side Mohan Bagan at Calcutta’s Salt Lake Stadium.

It’s believed that the historic match will attract 120,000 spectators. It is particularly special for Bayern Munich, as it will be the last for the legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who is retiring after 22 years with the team.

During their time in Calcutta, Bayern Munich will be engaging with the local community by running a coaching clinic, which was organised by Adidas, at the Calcutta Cricket and Football club. 48 promising youngsters were selected to participate in the clinic, where they were taught by the likes of Mark van Bommel, Andreas Ottl, Jose Ernesto Sosa and other top footballers. The top six players from the coaching clinic will be flown to the Bayern Football School in Germany to attend the FC Bayern Football Camp later in the year.

As the team spent so much time with the community, they didn’t have the opportunity to practice before the game. As Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld explained, «We have some social responsibilities, so that won’t allow us time for practice.» However, Mr Hitzfeld said that he believes the team have practiced enough, he said: «We have practiced enough in Bali and that I feel it is sufficient to keep us in right shape.»

Bayern Munich’s visit to Calcutta signifies the increasing popularity of football in a country that is known for its love of cricket. BBC reporters spoke to two young boys, Ramjit and Sanjoy, who will be in the crowd at Wednesday’s match. One believes that football is getting so popular in India that it could eventually rival the popularity of cricket, while the other is not so sure. Ramjit said: «If Bayern Munich can come down here why can football not compete with cricket? It is just a slow ongoing process. There are kids who like watching football, they prefer it to cricket as cricket is getting boring.» His friend Sanjoy wasn’t quite so sure, he said: «Every sport in this country is secondary to cricket.»

Anjan Mitra, the secretary of Mohun Bagan FC, said that the team would be doing as much as possible to ensure that Oliver Kahn’s last match will be an unforgettable one. She said: «It is Oliver Kahn’s farewell match and we have to ensure that our guests have something to cherish about their visit to the city.» She also said that the team would be presenting Bayern with a boat made of silver, while Kahn would be made an honorary member of their club.

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