German sportswear major PUMA have announced the signing of India international midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad as a global brand ambassador.
Sahal Abdul Samad is one of the most exciting talents within Indian football and the Kerala Blasters playmaker joins India captain Sunil Chhetri and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu at PUMA besides Indian cricketers Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, and now holds company as a Puma Global Ambassador alongside Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Suárez, Marco Reus and Sergio Aguero.
Sahal said, ‘It’s a huge honour to sign with a global brand like PUMA… this is another great and positive step in my career. I’ve always motivated myself to perform at the highest level so it’s important I work with someone who has the same vision and gets me to new levels.”
The 23-year-old born in Al-Ain in the UAE and after spending his youth in the Gulf, joined Kerala Blasters FC in the year 2017 and was quick to make it to the first team, having displayed an impressive performance during the Second Division League, as part of the Kerala Blasters FC Reserve Team that finished as Group Champions.
The attacking midfielder, fondly referred to as the ‘Indian Ozil’ by fans, has shown amazing technique and creativity on the field during ISL – Season 5, which first earned him an India Under-23 call-up and then also a senior India debut.
Inventive Sports CEO Baljit Rihal, Sahal’s agency, said, “To be in the company of iconic athletes such as Virat Kohli, Sunil Chhetri and Mary Kom really does speak volumes about Sahal’s engagement with PUMA. Of course it’s one of the worlds largest sports brands and we as his agency are confident that this association will elevate Sahal to even greater heights, not just in India but on a global scale.”
Shakeel Abdulla and Wilbur Lasrado of Inventive Sports, who have been associated with Sahal since 2017, believe that this has been a long time coming. “Sahal deserves every bit of it. He has worked hard and has earned it all himself, like any other international athletes,” said Shakeel.
“We wanted to do something big with Sahal. I thus spoke to Puma over several phone calls, met them over a couple of times across different cities to work out the best for him. We went with Puma because it not only gave him comfort but at the same time, the best brand engagement,” said Wilbur.
“When we sign an athlete at Inventive Sports, we draw up a mandate, But our relationship with the athlete goes beyond that. It’s a personal relationship and it’s far more important than the paper and that’s what’s special about it,” he added.