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Former Manchester United and Chelsea star Juan Sebastian Veron set to work at grassroots level in India

27 Oct 2016, 13:19 IST
Beto (R) in meeting with Juan Sebastian Veron (Image courtesy: xtratime)

Argentine legend and former Premier League star Juan Sebastian Veron is set to work extensively at the grassroots level of football in India joining hands with former Mohun Bagan and Dempo star Beto to open a football academy in the country. Bengaluru seems to be their favoured city and with Bengaluru FC reaching the AFC Cup final in recent times, it seems like more good news is in store for the Garden City, according to reports from xtratime.

The Brazilian forward Beto, who has plied his trade in India for more than a decade starting from his stint with Mohun Bagan in 2004, is one of the most storied forwards in Indian footballing history. Having won the I-League four times with Dempo and Churchill Brothers, Beto had previously voiced his wish of working at the grassroots level in a country which he now considers his second home.

According to reports, Beto’s company spoke with a contingent from Argentinian side Estudiantes de La Plata (current leaders of the Argentine Primera Division), regarding the said project. The Brazilian it seems is seeking the help from the well esteemed Argentine club to run the program in India. Juan Sebastian Veron, who is the President of Estudiantes, personally flew in and seems to be interested in lending his own personal experience in helping the game grow in India

Meeting taking place in Dubai (Image courtesy: xtratime)

According to images received, it became clear that initial round of talks have already materialised regarding the project. The project is expected to start in the near future with 100 kids being nurtured by some of the best coaches in Brazil and Argentina. Veron is also expected make personal visits to the country and to help coach the youngster.

Juan Sebastian Veron, who started his career at Estudiantes, was one of the most sought after players during his playing days . After making his first move to Europe in 1996 with Sampdoria, Veron went on to play for Parma, Lazio, Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan, costing the clubs a total of £103 million for his services before coming back to retire at his boyhood club in 2014.

India has been blessed by clubs like Liverpool and Barcelona opening their academies in the country in recent times. With the Tata Football Academy still running strong and further endeavours from ISL and I-League clubs, Football seems to have finally come of age in this land of a billion.

If this project takes off, this will certainly add a South American flavour to the fledgeling footballing scene in the country and with the FIFA U-17 World Cup set to take place in the country next year, the sport in India seems to be ready for a huge takeoff.

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