The Indian football team is waiting eagerly for the Jan 10 international friendly with European giants Bayern Munich, which will also be former captain Bhaichung Bhutia's farewell match.
A star-studded Bayern team comprising captain Philip Lahm, Arjen Robben, Frank Ribbery, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez will be seen in action at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here. A part of the proceeds will be donated to the earthquake victims of Sikkim, Bhutia's home state.
The German giants led by coach and former German World Cupper Jupp Heynckes will arrive in India via Qatar, where they will stop over for a training session.
Bhutia, who will be wearing the captain's armband for the last time, said it will be a great honour to finish his illustrious career with a farewell match against Bayern.
"My career has been a great learning for me, a wonderful experience. My 16-year international football career has made me richer in experience and I have grown as a person. Playing my final India match against Bayern M nich is a great honour, but also a tough finale for me. Bayern are one of the best teams in the world and I rate them as better than Germany," he said.
Bhutia feel that Indian football is moving in the right direction.
"Indian football is moving in a positive direction with the Indian team qualifying for the Asian cup after a gap of 27 years. In addition to this, the junior teams and the developmental team are making good progress on the Asian front. I believe that it will not be long before we see Indian players plying their trade on the international club circuit," he said.
India coach Savio Medeira said it will be a great opportunity for his team.
"It's not every day that you get a chance to play against the best in the World. It would be a learning experience for us," he said.