Football fans in Kerala have more reasons to cheer, apart from the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Their Indian Super League (ISL) team, Kerala Blasters, will take the field a little early this time when they take on La Liga club, Girona FC and Australian club, Melbourne City FC, in pre-season friendlies at their home ground in Kochi.
The matches will take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from July 24 to July 29.
According to a report in the New Indian Express, La Liga ambassador and Spanish football legend, Fernando Morientes, said during the unveiling of the trophy in Kochi that he â€ścan see the passion of Indians for football and La Liga clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona. This will be an opportunity for them to catch top teams like Girona play their local side.â€ť
Football website Goal quoted Kerala Blasters FC CEO, Varun Tripuraneni, as saying, â€śThis will be a perfect start to our pre-season preparations as we play against two international clubs of great repute. It will be a treat for the fans in Kochi and we are expecting the crowd to come out in large numbers."
Apart from Kerala Blasters, the only other Indian club to have played against a top-tier European club is Delhi Dynamos, who played a friendly against West Bromwich, a Premier League club in 2016.
The three teams took to social media to inform their fans about the tournament which will take place in July.
â€śWell now Kochi, let's have a footballing event of a magnitude KĚ¶oĚ¶cĚ¶hĚ¶iĚ¶ Ě¶KĚ¶eĚ¶rĚ¶aĚ¶lĚ¶aĚ¶ India has never seen before! @LaLigaEN & Toyota Yaris presents an international club tournament feat. @KeralaBlasters, @GironaFC and @MelbourneCity, this July!!! #KeralaBlasters #LaLigaWorldâ€ť: tweeted the official handle of Kerala Blasters.
Well now Kochi, let's have a footballing event of a magnitude KĚ¶oĚ¶cĚ¶hĚ¶iĚ¶ Ě¶KĚ¶eĚ¶rĚ¶aĚ¶lĚ¶aĚ¶ India has never seen before! @LaLigaEN & Toyota Yaris presents an international club tournament feat. @KeralaBlasters, @GironaFC and @MelbourneCity, this July!!!#KeralaBlasters #LaLigaWorld pic.twitter.com/mL3B5Znv8Sâ€” Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) June 26, 2018