Luis Figo set to visit India in November
Luis Figo is set to become the next superstar to set foot in India, as he is penciled in for a visit to Goa on November 1st of this year, to lend his presence to the Youth Champions League (YCL), a football festival in which over 250 schools are expected to participate, and will be held over 5 days, from October 29th to November 2nd.
"Considering the YCL is in October-November, the possibility of getting a current football star was out of the question as the season begins in August. We thought getting someone who has only just retired from the game would let youngsters build an easy connect and there are few better than Luis Figo who fit the bill," says Vinit Rughani, head, business development of Red9 Events, the company responsible for bringing the Portuguese to Indian shores.
The company managed to rope in the former Real Madrid star thanks to their association with Football by Carlos Queiroz - the soccer academy run by the current coach of the Iran national team.
Fifteen selected participants from the YCL will also be sent for a 15 day training stint at the former Portugal national team coach’s academy in Portugal.
"We connected with Figo through his agent and he agreed without much debate," adds Rughani.
"Luis is very pleased with the invitation and is looking forward to coming to Goa for YCL. I confirm his availability for the agreed consideration," read a statement by an authorised agent of Figo.
The winger is expected to arrive in Goa on November 1, and his itinerary shall include participating in a game of football, where apart from youngsters selected from the competition, Bhaichung Bhutia shall also take part.
Though the event management firm is Mumbai-based, Goa was the best option as far as availability of grounds and logistics were concerned.
"Hosting over 250 teams and getting multiple venues was not possible in a city like Mumbai. Goa was a natural choice," says Rughani.
The event will be held across six stadiums. There will be a total of 2500 participants from 15 states in the country along with a few international teams.