Kartik Aaryan becomes ambassador for Bundesliga Dream Project

From left to right: Jonathan Dietrich (Co-Trainer U14, FC Augsburg), Vinit Kore (Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, BigHit), Dennis Kittel (Head of Sales & Strategic Projects APAC, Bundesliga International GmbH), Kartik Aaryan (Bollywood Superstar & Bundesliga Dream India Ambassador), Claudio Pizarro (Bundesliga Legend), Shaktie Shukla (Founder & Chief Executive Officer, BigHit), Armin Kraaz (Head of Sports Projects, Americas, Eintracht Frankfurt), Santino Shepherd (Associate Manager Partner Success & Operations, Bundesliga International GmbH)
Photo: BigHit
  • Bollywood star to work with the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga in the promotion and development of young Indian football talent 
  • National trials took place last weekend, with 30 players selected from 192 hopefuls
  • Two U-13 squads will be in Germany in May with one squad heading to FC Augsburg while the second squad travelling to Eintracht Frankfurt, with both sides training and playing friendly matches during their respective week-long visits
  • Aaryan was present at “Der Klassiker” – the matchup between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund last month

15 April 2024 – Indian Bollywood actor Kartik Aaryan has been named as an ambassador for the “Bundesliga Dream India” project, which officially kicked off this weekend.

A Gen Z icon in India and the star of many blockbuster Indian films, including Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Pyaar Ka Punchnama, Aaryan attended the national trials in Mumbai last weekend. He will also work with the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and promote the project across his various social media channels, which together have more than 44 million followers.

A passionate player and follower of football, Aaryan is already a fan of the Bundesliga, and was in Munich last month for the Klassiker matchup between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund – a trip that was organised in collaboration with official broadcaster, Sony Sports Network.

Talking about Bundesliga Dream India, Kartik Aaryan said: “I believe this is what India needs to elevate the level of youth football. I have the same passion and dream for football as the Bundesliga does, and together we want to instill belief into aspiring young footballers and tell them that no dream is too small. We want to provide them with a platform to pursue their passion and chase their dreams”.

Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer Peer Naubert said: “We are delighted to welcome Kartik as an ambassador for Bundesliga Dream India. His love for football shone through when he was in Munich, and we believe that with his support, we can elevate the project to new levels.

“The Bundesliga has long been considered the home for Asian players, and we are excited to work with BigHit, Sony Sports Network, and with Kartik over the next seasons to establish a route for young, talented Indian players to train and play in a Bundesliga academy.”

In collaboration with BigHit, a multiple-sports platform committed to the identification and promotion of sporting talent across India, the Bundesliga Dream initiative will select multiple squads from the U-13 and U-15 age groups to travel to Germany for an immersive training camp experience. Over the next one-and-a-half years, six teams across both age groups will be selected to train with and compete against clubs throughout Germany. The project’s long-term aim is to create a pathway for talented Indian footballers to have the opportunity to test themselves in a Bundesliga youth academy set-up.

Content will be captured that documents the journey of these footballers, from the national finals to the subsequent training camp in Germany, and will be distributed via the Bundesliga’s network of local partners, including official broadcaster Sony Sports Network.

As part of the first edition and after initial scouting in more than 100 cities, 192 players were invited to the national finals, which took place over two days. The young players took part in several training sessions, drills and small-sided matches, before a selection committee that included Bundesliga Legend Claudio Pizarro, as well as coaches from FC Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt, selected the 15 successful players to represent each squad. 

The first U-13 side will first travel to Germany, staying at the academy of FC Augsburg between 8-15 May, and training for a week with the respective youth team of the Bundesliga club. The second U-13 team will travel to Frankfurt a week later, where they will experience life at Eintracht Frankfurt’s youth academy. Both sides will play friendly matches against multiple Bundesliga academy sides.