Euro 2012: The Indian connection

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: European Football boasts of a huge fan following in a cricket-obsessed nation like India, which stay at 164th position in the FIFA rankings. Like always, fans in India will keep a watch on the proceedings when Europe’s biggest football event kicks off at Warsaw’s National Stadium.

Even though India failed to produce many home-grown players to play in Europe, very few expatriates managed to climb ladders in soccer abroad. The latest to join that list was Indian-Surinamese origin Luciano Narsingh.

The 21 year old received his first call-up to the Netherlands national team in February, and was included in Bert van Marwijk`s initial squad for Euro 2012. Narsingh is a product of the Ajax football academy. He currently plays for SC Heerenveen which is in the premier division of Dutch football league. Luciano was also a part of the Dutch U21 national football team.

Polish-based Indian elephant named Citta, equivalent of Paul the Octopus, the tentacled tipster who successfully predicted results at the 2010 World Cup, is the other Indian connection in the Euros. Citta, who indicated that co-host Poland will beat Greece in the tournament`s opening game, apparently has a 100 percent record so far. It’s been a really long road for the Indian elephant to reach this illustrious stage in her career, having previously worked for a German circus and then entertained visitors at nature parks in Austria and Spain as well as the zoo in Hamburg.