Barcelona and Spanish legend Carles Puyol visited Mumbai yesterday and played with 500 kids at the Mumbai Football Arena. These schools participate in MSSA tournaments but lack facilities and an effective support system.
Carles Puyol was the Mumbai Football Arena to promote the FIFA under-17 World Cup which is to be held in Mumbai in October. The event was also attended by the sports minister Vijay Goel, Shiv Sena chairperson Aaditya Thackeray and the two-time FIFA World Cupper Nigeria Rubio Afolabi. Puyol said for Football to grow in India, kids need to start playing early and the parents and school need to support their ambitions. The event also talked about Mission XI Million, a Government of India and All India Football Federation initiative, a grassroots program that aims at improving the football culture of India.
Tournament Director of the organising committee, Javier Ceppi, was happy to see the passion and love towards the sport by the kids and the way they played with Puyol. Support for campaigns like Mission XI Million Footballers will give a lot of exposure for budding footballers and for the overall growth of the sport in the country.