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Indian Super League trophy launched in presence of icon players

The glittering trophy, which will be awarded to the winner of the Indian Super League, was unveiled on Sunday by chairperson of IMG-Reliance, Nita Ambani, in the presence of icon players Alessandro Del Piero and Fredrik Ljungberg among others.

Indian Super League trophy launched in presence of icon players

Mumbai: The glittering trophy, which will be awarded to the winner of the Indian Super League, was unveiled on Sunday by chairperson of IMG-Reliance, Nita Ambani, in the presence of icon players Alessandro Del Piero and Fredrik Ljungberg among others.

Ambani is also the founder and chairperson of Football Sports Development.

Designed by Frazer And Haws, the Hero ISL trophy stands 26 inches tall. The logo on the top band has the ISL colours assigned to it and the handles are ornately carved and embellished with 24k gold gilt to imbue a sense of pride when held up.

Joining Ambani on the stage were world footballing legends and icon players of eight Indian Super League clubs -- Ljungberg (Mumbai City FC), Del Piero (Delhi Dynamos FC), Joan Capdevila (NorthEast United FC), David Trezeguet (FC Pune City), Robert Pires (FC Goa), Mikael Silvestre (Chennaiyin FC), Luis Garcia (Atletico de Kolkata) and David James (Kerala Blasters FC).

Speaking on the occasion, Ambani said, "It's a momentous day for all of us today as I stand along with the world's footballing legends to unveil the pride of Indian Super League. As these role models have inspired hundreds of thousands of players worldwide, I am sure the ISL trophy will also stand as a symbol of aspiration for many youngsters in an emergent India.

"The Indian Super League trophy is detailed to perfection by Indian artisans who were trained in London, thus exemplifying the genius of Indian artistry and world-class craftsmanship. It's 'made in India' design embodies our love and passion for this beautiful game and it equally represents our 'made for world' aspirations."

Sanjay Gupta, COO, Star India, further added, "The Hero Indian Super League is a marquee football tournament wherein accomplished footballers, who have excelled on the international stage along with best-of-the-best of Indian football, will get to compete for the ultimate honour and it is only befitting that they compete for one of the most exquisite trophies ever crafted."

Kerala Blasters marquee player David James said that with the likes of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar being involved in the league, the ISL could go a long way.

"The response towards the game is growing. (The owner) Sachin Tendulkar is a worldwide legend, some people might even argue he is a God. But he is a fantastic sportsperson. I appreciate the opportunity to people at all levels, the grassroot opportunity we can give to Indians footballers," he said.

"I am very encouraged with the enthusiasm with the players not only with Kerala Blasters but the clubs we played against. With the kind of media here, we have got some kind of world recognition and with the talent we have got here, this will be one hell of a competition," said the former England goalkeeper.

Former France and Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre said the important thing for his team Chennaiyin FC was to gel together.

"It was really brave of our owners Abhishek Bachchan and Nita Dani to jump in the race. We are making progress but we are still missing two players. To win it, it will be important for us to gel together, there will be lot of foreigners and lot of Indian, so we need to show good team spirit."

For former Sweden and Arsenal star Fredrik Ljungberg, who is playing for Mumbai City FC, "it's going to be hard and difficult. My owners and club want to win it so thats why we are here".

FC Goa marquee player and member of France's 1998 World Cup winning squad Robert Pires said he was happy to have been part of the ISL.

"I hope a lot and that is my objective. I am glad to be part of this. Its a new challenge. We have a really good team. We have a responsibility for the team and the country," he said.

FC Pune City marquee player David Trezeguet said "India can be a good footballing nation".

Atletico de Kolkata's Luis Garcia and NorthEast United's Joan Capdevila also spoke about the tournament.