afaqs! news bureau

Kartik Aaryan appointed as ambassador for the Bundesliga Dream India Project

The actor partners with the project to select squads for U-13 and U-15 players to experience training camp in Germany.

Kartik Aaryan has been named as an ambassador for the ‘Bundesliga Dream India’ project, which officially kicked off this weekend.

A gen-z icon in India and the star of many blockbuster Indian films, including Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Pyaar ka Punchnama, Aaryan attended the national trials in Mumbai last weekend. He will also work with the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and promote the project across his various social media channels, which together have more than 44 million followers.

A player and follower of football, Aaryan is already a fan of the Bundesliga, and was in Munich last month for the Klassiker matchup between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund that was organised together with official broadcaster, Sony Sports Network.

Talking about Bundesliga Dream India, Kartik Aaryan said, “I believe this is what India needs to elevate the level of youth football. I have the same passion and dream for football as the Bundesliga does, and together we want to instill belief into aspiring young footballers and tell them that no dream is too small. We want to provide them with a platform to pursue their passion and chase their dreams.”

Bundesliga International CMO Peer Naubert said: “We are delighted to welcome Kartik as an ambassador for Bundesliga Dream India. His love for football shone through when he was in Munich, and we believe that with his support, we can elevate the project to new levels; The Bundesliga has long been considered the home for Asian players, and we are excited to work with BigHit, Sony Sports Network, and with Kartik over the next seasons to establish a route for young, talented Indian players to train and play in a Bundesliga academy.”

In collaboration with BigHit, a multiple-sports platform committed to the identification and promotion of sporting talent across India, the Bundesliga Dream initiative will select multiple squads from the U-13 and U-15 age groups to travel to Germany for a training camp experience.

Over the next one-and-a-half years, six teams across both age groups will be selected to train with and compete against clubs throughout Germany. The project’s long-term aim is to create a pathway for talented Indian footballers to have the opportunity to test themselves in a Bundesliga youth academy set- up.

Content will be captured documenting the journey of these footballers from the national finals to the subsequent training camp in Germany and will be distributed via the network of Bundesliga local partners including official broadcaster Sony Sports Network.

As part of the first edition and after initial scouting in more than 100 cities, 200 players were invited to the national finals, which took place over two days. The young players took part in several training sessions, drills and small-sided matches, before a selection committee that included Bundesliga Legend Claudio Pizarro, as well as coaches from FC Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt, selected the 15 successful players to represent each squad.

The first U-13 side will first travel to Germany, staying at the academy of FC Augsburg between 8-15 May, and training for a week with the respective youth team of the Bundesliga club. The second U-13 team will travel to Frankfurt a week later, where they will experience life at Eintracht Frankfurt’s youth academy. Both sides will play friendly matches against multiple Bundesliga academy sides.

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