Former BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently visited Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium alongside state Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi and a few other officials.
The trip was conducted to better their understanding of the infrastructure in place at one of the world’s biggest clubs to improve the condition of Indian football, and seek investment in West Bengal.
Sourav Ganguly and Mamata Banerjee visit Santiago Bernabeu for investment
“Bengal has in its blood football, cricket, and other sports. We have a bigger stadium, Salt Lake Stadium. Even Eden Gardens has a bigger capacity than this stadium. We have come here to see their infrastructure and how they are doing business with football. This is a good idea. I am hopeful to use this idea in the future,” Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said after the visit.
But, the renovated Bernabeu has a capacity of 85,000 – the same as that of Salt Lake Stadium. On the other hand, Eden Gardens is smaller, with a capacity of 66,000.
On Thursday, La Liga and the West Bengal government signed an agreement for the development of a youth academy in the state. And the visit from the Chief Minister only strengthens what could be involvement from one of Europe’s biggest leagues.
East Bengal and Mohun Bagan SG are two of the biggest clubs in the country, with both hailing from Kolkata. Although not as prominent, Mohammedan Sporting also has a rich history in the I-League and only adds to the dominance of Kolkata clubs on the national football stage.