Bhutia: The ‘Beckham’ effect could happen in the IMG-R League

Huge signings could catapult Indian football onto the world stage

Ex-India Captain Bhaiching Bhutia feels that the marquee names soon to be announced for the IMG-R Reliance League, could push Indian football fans into a frenzy.

The AIFF technical advisor, believes similarly to David Beckham and Didiier Drobga ( MLS and China respectively) Indian football’s global prominence will shoot up as the stars flock in.

Speaking to Goal India he said: “we are trying to bring in some of the big names in world football. Few players like Michael Owen and a few others can come in and play with the Indian players.

“Right now if you look into a lot of the Indian players, (they) are just trying to go abroad and play at the European clubs. That is because they want to play with good quality players, big names and go into the big clubs.

“It’s important that if you have a few big names, that makes a big impact. When (Didier) Drogba signed in China, it made news worldwide. MLS didn’t have so much coverage until David Beckham went there. So football would be noticed not just in Asia but around the world.”

Bhutia also gave an insight into the players reactions over the proposed league: ” Being the president of the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) and having spoken to the players, I think they are looking forward to it. More than that the players, it is going to benefit Indian football at large.

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