Bayern Munich's star forward Arjen Robben is keen to impress India's cricket-loving crowd with some top class football, when the German giants play India in a friendly match to bid farewell to Baichung Bhutia at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.
India calling: Arjen Robben
"I know you love your cricket, but for 90 minutes next week we hope to show you quality football," said the Dutch midfielder. Bhutia, who retired last year after leading India for 10 years, will be donning the captain's arm band for the last time. A part of the proceeds will be donated to the earthquake victims of Sikkim.
Bayern skipper Philip Lahm said the German club will try to contribute to the development of Indian football. "At FC Bayern, we would like to contribute to the growth of Indian football. It is a great idea to play in Delhi," said Lahm after a training session here.
French international and star winger in the Bayern outfit, Franck Ribery is also looking forward to his maiden trip to India. "Football has taken me to places, which I would not have gone otherwise. I look forward to add India to that list," the 28-year-old said.
Star striker Thomas Muller, winner of the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot, is no stranger to India having accompanied the Bayern second team for Oliver Kahn's farewell match in 2009. "A lot has happened since I visited India with the Bayern second team in January 2009. I look forward to renew my ties with the country," he said.
The Bayern camp is also upbeat about the return of star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger after his lay-off due to a collarbone injury. "I am returning from an injury, so the India match is crucial to see how I have recovered ahead of a hectic second phase of the season," he said.