Mumbai | Jagran Sports Desk: Indian batting star Rohit Sharma on Thursday was named the first-ever India brand ambassador of top Spanish football club Real Madrid.

The 32-year-old cricketer is the first non-footballer in the history of the league to have become a brand ambassador.

Rohit, who is the ICC World No. 2 batsmen in ODIs, comes on board following a series of major initiatives by La Liga in India since 2017.

"I am truly delighted to be associated with La Liga. It's encouraging to see the Spanish giant have made inroads into the Indian football ecosystem through their grassroots programme," Rohit said.

"Personally, I see this as an interesting journey for me into the beautiful game with La Liga. I look forward eagerly to connecting with the football fans in India," he added.

Rohit also said that some of the India players who have distinguished themselves in cricket, don't mind following the footballers when it comes to hairstyles.

"The young guys who have come into the team like Shreyas Iyer, K L Rahul, Hardik Pandya, they all follow football and they do watch all these footballers, their hairstyle and what they do with their hairstyle," he said.

On the association with La Liga, Rohit said, "Football in India, is in its global growth trajectory and it is heartening to see that it is no more considered as the 'sleeping giant'."

"Over the course of the past five years, we have witnessed a significant growth in the interest for football in India. Credit must be given to everyone associated with it, including the fans," he added.

Jose Antonio Cachaza, managing director, La Liga India said, "India is a very important market for La Liga from a global perspective, we came here in 2017 to get a better understanding of the pulse of the nation.

"Over the past two years, and after several ground-breaking initiatives, it is obvious that India has a huge appetite for football. Rohit Sharma is the perfect example of this, in spite of being the most renowned face in Indian cricket right now, he is also an ardent football and La Liga fan," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma