Mumbai: A huge admirer of Barcelona FC and one who is often seen sporting the Catalan giants' jersey, Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor on Sunday bought the Mumbai franchise in the ISL and is looking forward towards "translating" his passion into contribution.
The Mumbai franchise went to the 31-year-old Kapoor scion and chatered accountant Bimal Parekh while another tinsel town biggie Salman Khan bagged the Pune franchise together with Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan of the Wadhawan Group.
"It is a moment of great pride for me to be a part of the Indian Super League and to represent the vibrant city of Mumbai. Football has never been far away from my daily life since childhood, and now as a partner in the ISL, I am looking forward to translate my passion into contributing to the growth of the sport," Kapoor said.
"I firmly believe in the grassroots and community development program designed by the League organisers IMG Reliance, to popularise the game and that's one thing which excited me to be part of this dream," he added.
Kapoor had reportedly flown to Spain recently to see Barcelona play Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were among the host of high-profile winning bidders as the organises of the much-anticipated Indian Super League unveiled the eight franchises for the event that is set to take Indian football by storm.
Tendulkar bagged the Kochi franchise along with PVP Ventures, which also owns a team in the Indian Badminton League while Ganguly, who bid by forming a consortium with Spanish League giants Atletico Madrid and businessmen Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjeev Goenka and Utsav Parekh, won the Kolkata franchise.
The bid winners for the eight franchises of the league, which is scheduled to be held in September-November, was announced here by organisers IMG-Reliance after evaluation of the bids by a seven-member panel.