Indian Football

Bayern Munich to focus on youth development programmes in India

Yash Pratap SinghYash Pratap Singh

September 11 2023

Bayern Munich’s focus is to get the youngsters a contract in either Germany or India.

Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich have a huge fan following in India without a shadow of a doubt. The Bavarians have been one of the most active European clubs to develop grassroots in India.

It’s more than just that. The six-time Champions League winners organised club legend Oliver Kahn’s farewell match in India alongside a charity match for street children. Moreover, a couple of years ago Subho Paul was called up to the FC Bayern World Squad.

So, Bayern’s relationship with India is very sturdy. And now Bayern are solely focused on developing youth programmes for the upcoming wonderkids of the nation.

Francisco Quinones speaks

Bayern hope to find some real talent and help them become pros because that’s how the success of the programmes will be measured.

“Due to the sheer size of the population, and all the interest that is building up here in India, it’s only logical that we focus on youth development programmes like the (Bayern) Youth Cup,” Francisco Quinones, manager, international youth football, told TOI

“Hopefully, through this programme, we can find some real talent. Ultimately, we measure our success by how many players we can help make it to a professional level, not necessarily with us because we know it’s really hard. Our work is helping develop players, whether it’s in their own country or abroad,” he added

The manager also explained how Bayern selected 10 players from the country to become India’s representative at the global stage.

“Over 15,000 under-16 players from over 28 cities went head-to-head in state-level football tournaments before 16 teams of 240 players made it to Goa for the National Finals last week. Bayern scouts then carefully handpicked 10 players to represent India at the global tournament later this year,”

The manager also explained how the youth cup is just the first step for a brighter future. “The pathway is very clear. We have the grassroots camp, then they move to the Youth Cup, then World squad under-19 project,” he said. 

“The project is 100 % focused on helping these players get a professional contract, whether it’s in Germany or their home country. The Youth Cup is like the bridge between the grassroots reactional programme and the high-performance elite project.” he added.

BigHit’s representatives speaks

Bayern have joined hands with BigHit to scout the superstars of tomorrow. 

“This year the talent is mind-blowing. We are sure we will send probably the strongest squad, one of the best that Bayern has seen till date,” said Vinit Kore, co-founder & CBO of BigHit to The Times of India.

“I think in the next two or three years, we should find a (young) player who can show the potential to succeed abroad. My strong belief is that the talent is already here, the job is just like finding a needle in a haystack.”

“Globally, the best talent does not come from a very structured approach. They are picked up from the streets. This is what we want to initiate,” said Shaktie Prakash, founder and CEO of BigHit.

The CEO also revealed BigHit’s objectives to help players and Indian Football in general. He said, “We are working on creating a roadmap from Indian football to Europe. Once a player reaches the age of 18, given where Indian football stands at the moment, it’s not possible for any Premier League or Bundesliga team to scout Indian talent, no matter how talented he is.

“That’s why we focus on youth, and Bayern are with us as regional partners. We are an eye-ball nation. We have a lot of eyeballs, people want to have their presence (here), but how many have a structured programme where you are giving the youth a chance? Bayern is the only club with a roadmap,” said Shaktie.

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