The exhibition match between the most successful German club, FC Bayern Muenchen and Indian National team will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, on January 10, 2012. The historic match will be a farewell for the Indian football icon, Baichung Bhutia, and the proceeds of the event will go to support the quake-affected people in Sikkim.
As part of the joint endeavour to bring international football to India, Audi is proud to extend its strong relationship with FC Bayern Muenchen, to promote the game here, and salute a true Indian football hero. The 111-year-old FC Bayern Muenchen, which has Audi as its premier partner, has won the German national championship, Bundesliga, 22 times and 15 other major titles.
To mark the countdown to the Audi Football Summit, FC Bayern Muenchen legend and a member of the German winning team of the 1974 FIFA World Cup, Paul Breitner said, “India can be a football power in years to come. It just needs to believe in its potential. Traditionally, both Germany and India have enjoyed a cultural and business relationship for years and it's time that we also work together in developing the popular sport of football in India. The Audi Football Summit is a big step towards achieving this goal. I hope that millions of youngsters will be inspired to play the game after watching their heroes in the exhibition match.”
Former Indian captain Baichung Bhutia who could not make it to the press conference owing to bad weather said in a telephonic interview during the conference that he was honoured by the gesture to give him a memorable farewell. Bhutia said. “As a footballer I always tried to put my best foot forward for the Indian National team, for my fans and my clubs. I would like to thank Audi India, FC Bayern Muenchen and my team-mates in the Indian national team. This is the best farewell I could have imagined.”
FC Bayern Muenchen, led by head coach Jupp Heynecks, will be stopping in Qatar for a training camp on their route to India. The German giants will turn up in their full strength for their Indian tour. Captain Philipp Lahm, arguably the world's best full back, Thomas Muller, the winner of the 'Golden Boot' in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, are expected to be in the star line-up for the match against the Indian National team.
On this occasion, Audi India MD, Michael Perschke said, “Audi is passionate about the sport of football and extremely proud about their association with FC Bayern Muenchen. Through this partnership, Audi India seeks to bring the world’s most popular sport to India and provide a strong platform for its budding talent. The Audi Football Summit in Delhi is a very prestigious event for us. We hope to attract millions of Indians to enjoy the game and inspire thousands of children to play football."
AIFF General Secretary, Kushal Das, who was also present at the press conference said, “It is the dawn of a new era in Indian football. Germany has produced world-class teams for many decades and FC Bayern Muenchen is one of the most respected clubs in the world. We hope that through the Audi Football Summit, we create excitement and awareness about the sport in India. Audi is truly committed to football and their initiative will immensely help in lifting the standard of Indian football.”