India needs superstars like Kohli in football: Cahill

India need to create superstars like Kohli in football, says Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill. Credit: AFP file photo.

Australian soccer legend Tim Cahill feels India need to create superstars like Virat Kohli in football, a game which has immense fan following in the country.

The 41-year-old, who is an ambassador of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy involved in organising 2022 World Cup in Qatar, spoke on the eve of the inauguration of the fourth completed venue -- the Al-Rayyan Stadium.

"You look at the way cricket is pretty much inspires the nation by itself, lot of Australian cricketers play there (in India). Virat Kohli and boys like these are superstars and now try and create those superstars within the ISL, with the teams, the games, the national team to recreate that with football would be the ultimate dream for India because there is massive passion for it," said Cahill.

Cahill, the leading goal-scorer for Australia with 50 strikes to his credit, also spoke about the upcoming FIFA World Cup and the event's importance for Indian fans.

"I think the greatest thing for India having the World Cup in this part of the world, is how close it is, being so accessible to be one of the biggest shows on earth, literally on their door-step, to not only watch it on TV but get on plane and be in Qatar in an hour," he said.

"At the same time, it also (builds) relationships with the World Cup, with the Al-Rayyan stadium built, the relationship between L&T, the commercial element, which intertwines nice relationship between both governments, so I feel India a great market for football.

"It has great support and I feel it is good to have those hopes and dreams, potentially one day being part of the World Cup, but also having it on your doorstep," he added.

The Al-Rayyan stadium has been constructed by an Indian company -- L&T.

Qatar World Cup CEO Nasser-Al-Khater had earlier told PTI that it will be in Qatar 2022 that India’s sports infrastructure capabilities will come into full global spotlight during the FIFA World Cup.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox