Bayern Munich first team to play for Bhutia`s farewell match
New Delhi: A bevy of star international footballers from top European club FC Bayern Munich will be seen in action when they take on the Indian national team in the farewell exhibition match of former captain Bhaichung Bhutia here on January 10.
Four-time UEFA Champions League winners, Bayern Munich will bring their first team players for the match to be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the German club`s advisor and legendary World Cupper Paul Breitner said at a press conference here.
The match, which will be the first of its kind in the Capital with so many international stars in action, will be sponsored by automobile giants Audi and played under the aegis of All India Football Association.
The proceeds of the match will go to the victims of the devastating earthquake that rocked Sikkim in September.
"We will bring the first team with the best international players we have in our side for the exhibition match in honour of Bhaichung who is an icon in India. He has done so much for Indian football and it will be a salute to Bhaichung from all of us in Bayern Munich. It will be a perfect sendoff for him," Breitner, who was a member of 1974 German World Cup-winning team, said.
Breitner also mentioned the names of German captain Philip Lahm, Frank Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, 2010 World Cup highest goal scorer Thomas Mueller, Dutch star Arjen Robben and current Bundesliga top scorer Mario Gomes.
Bhaichung, who retired from international football in August after representing the country in 107 matches since his debut in 1995, said he was honoured to be playing his farewell match against a top side like Bayern Munich.
"I feel honoured that I will be playing my farewell game against a great side like Bayern Munich and against some great players," said Bhaichung who could not turn up for the programme but addressed the reporters on phone.
"As a footballer, I always tried to put my best foot forward for the Indian team, for my fans and my clubs. This is the best farewell I could have imagined. I thank Audi India, Bayern Munich and my teammates in the Indian national team," said Bhaichung, who will be captaining India for the last time.
Bhaichung played his last international match in the Asian Cup against South Korea in January when he played for just 15 minutes.