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Real Madrid keen to visit India

July 18, 2008 14:34 IST

Raul, Fabio Cannavaro, Ruud van Nistelrooy and fellow Galacticos descending in India to weave magic on carpet does not sound daydreaming anymore with Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon Ramos writing to Sports Minister M S Gill, seeking a passage to India.

Happy to see what started as a casual discussion between two tennis fans on the sidelines of the Wimbledon final taking a more concrete shape, Gill has reacted by promptly writing to his cabinet colleague and All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, seeking to discuss the next course of action.

It all started during the Wimbledon when eventual winner Rafael Nadal was waging a grim battle against the man he would topple, Roger Federer, in that epic final. Gill had gone to watch the match and there he came across the Real Madrid president and told him how more than a lakh people turned out in Kolkata in May when Bayern Munich came to play what was star goalkeeper Oliver Kahn's farewell match.

Ramos warmed up to the idea of an India tour by the 'Los Blancos' and on July 8, the Real Madrid chief sent a letter to Gill reminding him of the discussion they had in London and requesting him to take the whole thing forward.

"Further to our conversation, we would be delighted that we could establish any kind of relationship between Real Madrid CF and India, through its Government, and in particularly, through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports," Ramos wrote in his letter.

"In that regard, I am at your disposal to discuss any proposal you might wish to make," Ramos added.

"As you can imagine, our club must plan all their activities with time enough, therefore I would be grateful that any suggestion you may have, can be made in advance in order to be responded properly. I look forward to hearing from you soon," Ramos concluded.

In his reply, Gill thanked Ramos for showing interest and said he would get back soon after consulting Dasmunsi, who is recovering from a heart attack.

"I thank you for your prompt letter. We are, at the moment, busy with political matters in our Parliament. Our Football Association president is a senior minister who recently had a minor medical problem. I will talk to him and others in the near future and will get back to you," Gill wrote.

"I certainly wish to see Real Madrid in India," the Sports Minister added.

He also promptly sent a letter to Dasmunsi, informing him about the development and seeking to discuss the issue as soon as the AIFF president regained his health.

"I am glad to know that you are back in office and I wish you the very best of health. After some weeks, I will look for an opportunity to discuss this matter with you so that we can carry it forward, if possible, in the interest of Indian football," Gill said.

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