Italy and Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero was one of the much celebrated marquee players in the 2014 Hero Indian Super League.
The 40 year old superstar was part of the Delhi Dynamos FC team which finished 5th in the inaugural season of the tournament. Del Piero was able to get a first hand experience of football in India and to country.
“It (Indian football) has extraordinary potential, as you’d expect in such a hugely populated country with so many youngsters and such determination to grow,” Del Piero told FIFA.com in an interview ahead of the FIFA Ballon d’Or Award Ceremony scheduled to take place in Zurich on Monday.
“The experiment with the Indian Super League has provided a road map, even if they have a long way to go,” he continued. “That said, I’m convinced football there will make great strides.”
“I’d love to see everyone involved, above all the players, achieve great things and perhaps represent their country at a World Cup before long.”
Asked about his favourite to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or, Del Piero said, “I’m not going to say who my pick would be but I’ll chance a prediction and say Neuer. He was integral to Germany’s great World Cup and to a wonderful season for Bayern in the Bundesliga.”
“The situation is a bit like we had in 2006, when Gigi Buffon narrowly missed out on winning the [France Football] Ballon d’Or to team-mate and fellow world champion Fabio Cannavaro, who also picked up the FIFA World Player of the Year.”