Germany’s Bundesliga is bringing global football icon Lothar Matthäus to India for a three-day visit from December 4 as part of the Bundesliga Legends Tour designed to inspire and connect Indian fans to the Bundesliga.
The captain of the 1990 FIFA World Cup winners returns to India for a second visit after having been to Kolkata in January 2010 during which he will participate in a number of fan and media activities.
Former FIFA World Player of the Year, Matthäus, will visit several football development projects and attend Indian Super League games in Kochi (4 December, Kerala Blasters vs Jamshedpur FC) and Mumbai (6 December, Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC). During his trip he will also meet several key stakeholders within the Indian football ecosystem, including the Bundesliga’s media partner Star Sports to shoot special episodes for Star Sports Select.
The Bundesliga trophy, the ‘Meisterschale’, will follow the legend and will be on display in both Kochi and Mumbai for fans to get their photo with the world-famous trophy.
On December 4, the former FC Bayern München star will meet with Kerala Blasters fans at the Marriott Hotel in Kochi. Afterwards, he will be on hand to inspire Indian youngsters at the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Kochi Finals before heading to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to watch another FIFA World Cup hero, Tim Cahill, in action as Kerala Blasters play Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League that night.
The next day Matthäus will arrive in Mumbai to undertake some media activities then spend time with Indian youths at the Borussia Dortmund football school at The Cooperage Stadium. Later, in the evening, he will meet with special guests, including members of the Indian football community, at the German consulate.
Speaking about how the Bundesliga can support the growth of Indian Football, Matthäus said: “I’m proud to be part of the Bundesliga’s Legends Tour here at what is an incredibly exciting time for Indian football. Having produced a long line of exciting world-class football talent, such new American team captain Christian Pulisic, 18 year-old Bundesliga Player of the Month Jadon Sancho (both Borussia Dortmund) and World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart), I’m keen to share my thoughts on how India can benefit from the Bundesliga’s renowned success in youth development. I’m really looking forward to helping India reach the next level whilst also getting to experience the country’s rich culture and warm hospitality.”
Robert Klein, CEO Bundesliga International, added: “It’s not only our global superstars and wonderkids, the high number of goals, the exciting brand of football played or the packed stadiums and electric atmospheres that has caught the imagination of Indian fans. They really appreciate pure, authentic football – football as it’s meant to be, which is what the Bundesliga is all about.”
He continued, “Whilst fans already have access to the best coverage of our league thanks to our strong partner Star Sports, bringing global icons like Lothar Matthäus to India helps fans experience the Bundesliga in a more personalised way. Creating physical connections is a key component of our long-term engagement strategy, which will supplement the action fans watch on Star Sports each week.”
Lothar Matthäus is one of the most recognised football players in the world. With his participation in the FIFA World Cup in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998 and a total of 150 games, he holds the record as the player with the most caps for the German national team. As part of the 808 games he played in top leagues worldwide, he completed 609 Bundesliga games for Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Bayern München. He has also managed and coached a number of teams across the world.