India will be getting its first taste of a top-quality European side live in action today at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Kochi, Kerala - the home of the ISL team Kerala Blasters. La Liga World is a pre-season tournament that has been organized by Toyota with the aim of projecting India as a destination for pre-season tournaments.
This is the first time an international pre-season tournament has been organized in India that features a side from any of the top 5 leagues in Europe.
India is steadily making a mark on the football market, shedding its image as just a cricket-frenzied nation. During the recently concluded World Cup in Russia, India recorded the fourth largest number of twitters impression ahead of most major European nations, more pre-disposed to the game of football.
It comes as little surprise then, that one of the most watched leagues in the world is keen on increasing its presence in India and, to that effect, has organized for one of it's most talked-about teams from last season to come down to the subcontinent and be a part of the Toyota Yaris La Liga World pre-season tournament.
The pre-season trend
Top European clubs have started a trend of engaging in pre-season tournaments in countries where they want to expand their footprint, while also going through the pre-season routines to gear up for the upcoming campaign.
The International Champions Cup, held in Asia and the United States, is an annual pre-season tournament involving Europe's top clubs which taps into the huge fanbases that exist for those teams outside of their local markets.
This year, the competition will see European powerhouses Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain play a series of matches in Singapore.
India to witness a La Liga side in action for the first time ever
In a first for the nation of India, a La Liga side - Girona FC - will be featuring in an international pre-season tournament in Kochi, Kerala alongside the local team Kerala Blasters FC and A-League's Melbourne City FC.
The Toyota Yaris LaLiga World tournament has been created to showcase India as a pre-season football destination for clubs around the globe, with the aim of creating a calendar event at a grand scale.
The tournament will celebrate the growing interest and passion for the game in the country and provide top-notch football action to Indian fans who crave for a world-class experience. This edition spans 3 continents and promises to be a truly international event.
Nippon Toyota has taken an initiative called The World United with the promise to bring top-flight international football to India and across the globe. Toyota Yaris LaLiga World is the manifestation of this visionary idea.
Girona FC arrive in Kochi
Sportskeeda had the amazing opportunity to be present at the pre-season tournament that got underway with Melbourne City FC dismantling David James' Kerala Blasters FC 6-0 in the opening game on the 24th of July.
The big names of the Spanish game will be in action tonight at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium against the side from Australia.
The game will be played under the watchful eyes of fans from across the country - hoping to catch a glimpse of the men who've taken on the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on multiple occasions.
We'll be there as well, to be a part of this watershed moment for the game of football here in India and will be bringing you all the action and highlights from the event that is likely to alter the landscape of Indian Football. Stay tuned!Published 27 Jul 2018, 12:30 IST