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Nita Ambani unveils Hero ISL trophy as football takes off

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The 26 inches tall trophy has the logo on the top band with the ISL assigned colours and the handles are ornately carved and embellished with 24k gold gilt.
Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Football Sports Development on Sunday unveiled the pride of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) trophy in Mumbai amidst glitz and glamour.

Joining her at the momentous occasion were world football legends and icon players of eight ISL clubs — Fredrik Ljungberg (Mumbai City FC), Alessandro Del Piero (Delhi Dynamos FC), Joan Capdevila (NorthEast United FC), David Trezeguet (FC Pune City), Robert Pires (FC Goa), Mikael Silvestre (Chennaiyin FC), Luis Garcia (Atletico de Kolkata) and David James (Kerala Blasters FC).

“It’s a momentous day for all of us today as I stand along with the world’s football legends to unveil the pride of Indian Super League. As these role models have inspired hundreds of thousands of players worldwide, I am sure the ISL trophy will also stand as a symbol of aspiration for many youngsters in an emergent India,” said Ms. Nita.

“The Indian Super League trophy is detailed to perfection by Indian artisans who were trained in London, thus exemplifying the genius of Indian artistry and world-class craftsmanship. Its ‘made in India’ design embodies our love and passion for this beautiful game and it equally represents our ‘made for world’ aspirations,” she added.

Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer, Star India, said, “The ISL is a marquee football tournament wherein accomplished footballers, who have excelled on the international stage along with best-of-the-best of Indian football, will get to compete for the ultimate honour and it is only befitting that they compete for one of the most exquisite trophies ever crafted. With Hero Indian Super League well placed to fuel the birth of a football nation, I am confident that this will become one of the most coveted trophies in Indian football in the years ahead.”

Designed by Frazer And Haws, the trophy stands 26 inches tall. The logo on the top band has the ISL colours assigned to it and the handles are ornately carved and embellished with 24k gold gilt to imbue a sense of pride when held up.

Nita Ambani unveils Hero ISL trophy - The Hindu
 

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Indian Super League: Freddie Ljungberg excited by tournament
By Dev TrehanIndian football writer
Listen to a special preview of the Indian Super League on BBC Radio 5 live from 21:00 BST on Monday 6 October

Former Arsenal and West Ham winger Freddie Ljungberg says the inaugural Indian Super League will be a success.

Ljungberg, 37, will play alongside ex-Arsenal and Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka, 35, for Mumbai City, managed by former Sunderland boss Peter Reid.

"In our first game there are going to be 110,000 fans there so it looks like it's going to be a success," said two-time Premier League winner Ljungberg.

The Indian Super League starts on 12 October and lasts for 10 weeks.

Indian Super League facts
Eight franchise clubs will take part in the competition which starts on 12 October and ends on 20 December

Salt Lake City, home to Atletico de Kolkata, has a 120,000 capacity

Former England goalkeeper David James is player-manager at Kerala Blasters

Former Brazil midfielder Zico is manager of FC Goa

World Cup winners Alessandro Del Piero, Marco Materazzi, David Trezeguet and Robert Pires are among other high-profile names playing in the league, aimed at improving the popularity of football in India.

"It's a new experience and I'm looking forward to working in a new country," added Ljungberg, who won the Premier League with Arsenal in 2001-02 and 2003-04.

"There's a lot of work to do, but the organisers have been extremely professional in terms of the back-up for all the players.

"I've only been here a few days but how they've pitched it is that there is a massive interest in football among India's youth."

Sweden international Ljungberg says there is pressure on the big-name players taking part in the ISL to perform on the pitch and inspire youngsters off it.

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Nicolas Anelka, who played for six Premier League clubs, is one of the high-profile players in the event

"There is expectation on us, and people in India are hoping we are going to play some good football," he said. "That's why we're here and that is what we are going to try and do.

"But as marquee players we also need to help off the pitch. There is so much we can do to try and inspire people and I'm excited to be a part of that.

"If we can inspire some of the youngsters then hopefully we can change the future for Indian football."

Ljungberg is looking forward to be playing in the same side as his former Arsenal team-mate Anelka.

"My job will be to pass to Nicolas and hopefully he is going to score the goals," he said.

"The team is going to try and win the league. That is the bar the team is trying to set so that is what we are aiming for."

Also related to this story

BBC Sport - Indian Super League: Freddie Ljungberg excited by tournament
 

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