Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar believes the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, to be hosted by India in 2017 is “absolutely massive” and everyone is waiting to welcome it.
“Everyone is looking forward to it, everyone is excited and the guys are waiting to welcome the World Cup to India. It’s going to be massive, it’s good for India because people are appreciating ISL (Indian Super League) and FIFA coming to India is a big, big thing,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by FIFA’s website on Monday.
Speaking on the ISL, a tournament which has taken Indian football by storm, the 2011 cricket World Cup winner said: “Football is getting popular – it’s nowhere near cricket, but I don’t like comparisons. It’s about appreciating each and every sport – the skills, the hard work and the sacrifices the players make. Each individual should be respected for that and Indian people are appreciating ISL in a big way.”
“I’m thrilled that their response has been special and people are following not only the foreign players but the domestic players too. They are becoming heroes, role models and overall that is how football in India is going to grow.”
“With India’s billion-plus population, if it grows it’s definitely going to have a positive impact on football all over the world.”
The 42-year-old also says that the football culture in England rivals that of cricket culture in India.
“Very much, it reminds me of the people back home. Extremely passionate and every little thing that we do matters; every little thing is monitored; every little thing has hundreds of people passing judgement. Everything is under a microscope,” he said.