Indian youngsters enjoy unique trip to Eintracht Frankfurt!

As part of the ‘Bundesliga Dream India’ project, some young footballers enjoyed an exciting trip to the heart of Europe, experiencing friendly games, a stadium tour and a peek behind the scenes.

Football unites, everywhere. A U13 team from India got to experience that first hand on a recent trip to Frankfurt, where they enjoyed training at Eintracht’s youth academy, learning about the club’s history, looking behind the scenes, attending a question-and-answer session with club legend Alex Meier, playing a friendly against the Eagles’ U13s and attending the first team’s final game of the season against Leipzig at Deutsche Bank Park. All in all, their visit from 16 to 23 May was action-packed and fun-filled.

The trip was made possible by the ‘Bundesliga Dream India’ project, organised by Bundesliga International in cooperation with BigHit. The initiative offers aspiring young Indian footballers a comprehensive insight into the goings-on at a Bundesliga youth academy, and also fosters the continuous development of the players on and off the pitch.

“It was a wonderful experience for the kids, who hail from all over India, to have a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Germany,” said Armin Kraaz, head of sports projects Americas at Eintracht Frankfurt Fußball AG. “After participating at the Vietnam Youth Incubator 2022 and the Bundesliga Dream Thailand 2023, working together with Indian partners was also new territory for us, and a very exciting opportunity to expand our international portfolio.”

Kraaz himself was on site when the project began in Mumbai in April. Over 200 U13 players arrived from more than 100 cities to take part in the national finals. The youngsters participated in several training sessions, drills and small-sided games, before a selection committee, which included Kraaz and Bundesliga legend Claudio Pizarro, picked the 15 players to represent each team. One of these teams travelled to Frankfurt just under a month later.

Valuable experiences

After arriving in Frankfurt, the trip began with a tour of Eintracht’s facilities, including Deutsche Bank Park and the club museum. The visitors were out on the pitch every day during training sessions at Riederwald, and the Indian youngsters also saw how they measured up against their counterparts in Eintracht’s U13s in a friendly, which provided a valuable experience both in sporting and cultural terms.

Vinit Kore, co-founder and chief business officer at BigHit, remarked: “One of the players who flew to Germany to train with Eintracht said, ‘My time at Eintracht Frankfurt has changed my life and I’m taking home an experience I’ll never forget’.”

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