Narendra Modi praises Germany's investment in football, says Bundesliga has a huge following in India

Berlin: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the efforts of Germany for their investment in football academies and for promoting a sporting culture that is widely heralded as one of the best in the world.

Modi said India wants to enhance its cooperation with Germany to replicate the success achieved by the European nation.

While speaking on his tour of Germany, who are also the reigning FIFA World Cup champions, the Indian prime minister said that Bundesliga has a huge following back home in India.

"Very few people would know that Bundesliga has a widespread following in India," he said in his speech after India and Germany signed 12 MoUs and agreements covering diverse sectors, including youth development and vocational training.

Regarded as one of the top leagues in Europe, Bundesliga has the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. The league is also known for producing talents like Phillip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marco Reus.

Modi, who is visiting European countries landed in Germany on Monday, was left in awe of Germany's investment in youth and how the nation treats football as more than a sport. Germany have won a total of four World Cups — in 1954, 1974, 1990, 2014 — besides having clinched three European Championships — in 1972, 1980, 1996.

India will be hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October, the final of which will be played in Kolkata. India will feature among the 24 teams, which will be the first time an Indian team will participate in a FIFA tournament.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: May 30, 2017 20:39:11 IST