Boca set foot in India

Boca set foot in India

Argentine giants to set up coaching academies in City

Boca set foot in India

Following in the footsteps of several top European clubs aiming to expand their base in the lucrative Indian market, Argentine giants Boca Juniors announced the start of their academy here on Friday.

To be based in Bangalore, the academy will kick off with its first session at the ITPB sports grounds in Whitefield from June 10 to 14. Following the opening session, camps will be held every weekend either at the ITPB or Sarjapur with the fee yet to be disclosed.

“We have 30 academies around the world and we always wanted to come to India that has a huge market and potential for football,” said Francisco Morea, Boca Juniors Football Schools Manager, at a press conference. “Boca is a very famous club in South America and we hope to pass on the Latin style of football to kids here.

“Back home, we always tell kids to play from the heart. Football is a beautiful game and only when one plays with heart, will there be passion, energy and excitement in the game. I understand when one grows up and plays at the professional level, he needs to play according to strategy. But, the best thing about being a kid is you don’t have to worry about strategies and stuff like that. You just need to go ahead and enjoy and that’s what we are aiming at doing.”

Top clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and AC Milan already have their respective coaching programmes in place in several cities in the country with some of them even taking select kids on exposure trips to their bases. Asked what difference Boca Juniors, where the great Diego Maradona honed his skills, planned to bring in, considering the very limited fan base for South American clubs, Morea said the focus will be on coaching style.

“We agree we don’t have a fan base as strong as EPL or a few other European leagues. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. But we are looking at getting the best of the coaches to work with the kids constantly. It’s not going to be a one-off programme. It’s going to be the start of a long journey.

“In about a couple of years, we plan on getting the main team of Boca Juniors to play a few matches in India. They might even work with the kids. We just hope the kids embrace it.”