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Bayern Munich to start scouting Indian talent

German Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich today announced plans for scouting talent in India through their FC Bayern Youth Cup which is for boys in the age group of 14 to 16 years of age. The FC Bayern Youth Cup, which will be hosted in numerous countr...

German Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich today announced plans for scouting talent in India through their FC Bayern Youth Cup which is for boys in the age group of 14 to 16 years of age. The FC Bayern Youth Cup, which will be hosted in numerous countries around the world, will be coming to New Delhi in October 2011.

Bayern Munich now have a nearly five year long relationship with India in which their teams have visited the country four times. In November/December 2005 the second team of FCB took part and won the IFA Shield, then in May 2008 German goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn played his final game for Bayern Munich infront of 125,000 at the Saltlake Stadium, in January 2009 the second team returned for a second visit to West Bengal playing in Kolkata and Siliguri and then in November 2010 the Bayern Munich Allstars played a charity match against the East Bengal Allstars which it won 10-3.

Asian players have played for the Bavarian giants. It all started in 1998 with Iranian striker Ali Daei, who was at the club for a season, before his fellow countryman Ali Karimi signed for them in 2005 to stay two season.

Now this summer Bayern Munich have joined the trend of German Bundesliga clubs having a Japanese player in their squad after the success of Shinji Kagawa at Borussia Dortmund. The Bavarians have signed teenage Japanese winger Takashi Usami from Gamba Osaka on a one year loan. Usami is seen as one of Japan’s brightest young talents and they want to expand their ambit across Asia.

“Players from all over the world are in Europe nowadays, so why wouldn’t we see Indians among their number in the next 5 or 6 years?” Paul Breitner commented on Monday at the launch of the FC Bayern Youth Cup, a series of international mini-pitch tournaments for 14 to 16-year-olds to be staged in a number of countries.

“India is growing incredibly fast, and that goes for its football too,” FC Bayern acting board director commented Andreas Jung. “We’re convinced India can become a very important market for this club. We can’t guarantee uncovering a player capable of joining us as a professional, but it’s well worth a try,” Jung continued.

“However, the very first task is to lay down the foundations, and then we’ll see how things develop,” Jung advised. The FC Bayern Youth Cup represents the first step.

In October 2011, the club will organise a pilot tournament with club sponsors Audi and Adidas in New Delhi, with some 600 youths taking part. The very best will be invited to Munich in May 2012 for training and trial matches.

These kids could follow in the footsteps of six youngsters who were picked during the Bayern Allstars trip to Kolkata in November 2010, and who are currently spending two weeks at the clubs training facilities at the Säbener Strasse.

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