Any given weekend, millions of Indian football fans will be glued to their screens, cheering on their favorite teams and absorbed by the action unfolding on pitches. As the final games of the season decide league and cup titles, midweek games are also thrilling fans in the elite Champions League and Europa League competitions.
Due to the huge and constantly growing demand for live football games, India has become one of the biggest markets for the leading European league, with an especially strong following for the biggest English Premier League and Spanish La Liga clubs, along with their legions of star players.
Whenever teams from these competitions clash in the Champions League, that only heightens the interest even further.
Touches of class everywhere you look ? ?#UCLshowcase | @Mastercard | #UCL pic.twitter.com/51PkfSQMIt— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 29, 2021
Aside from tuning in to the action via TV broadcasts or online streams, Indian soccer fans are often keen to wager on the outcome of games, which provides additional entertainment. Sports betting in India has grown in popularity since it moved online over the last decade. However, referring to a guide for online betting in India is always a good idea, making sure sites are licensed by a gambling authority and fully legal for Indian bettors.
Although betting on Indian Super League games has become appealing, due to the steady growth of this competition and its teams, the vast majority of supporters are far more enamored by their favorite European teams. Indeed, there are countless fan clubs dedicated to European clubs throughout India, often gathering to watch games and even share betting tips, while cheering on from afar.
To these faithful fans, supporting teams located thousands of miles away is no problem. Thanks to more live game broadcasts and increased information surrounding clubs, they actually feel closer than ever before. Some of the most prominent online football bloggers also hail from India, sharing their thoughts and opinions regularly, whether praising excellent performances or criticizing humiliating defeats.
One such fan has become famous for producing almost daily online content, uploading video blogs to YouTube. More commonly known by the Angry Rantman handle on Twitter and YouTube, the man behind this viral online sensation is Abhradeep Saha. Along with ranting about cricket, he also rants about Chelsea Football Club, with his YouTube channel boasting more than 341,000 subscribers.
While he might be an extreme example of the passion for European football amongst Indian fans, the growing multitude of people engrossed by soccer cannot be understated. Back in 2012, Time Magazine highlighted the soar in popularity of soccer, even in a country that is absolutely obsessed with cricket. Almost a decade later, that growth continues to flourish throughout India, with some sports bars now showing more live football than cricket.
Of course, cricket will undoubtedly remain the national sport of India for some time to come. Nevertheless, the speed at which football has enraptured the people of this country is impressive. Few countries in the world can boast such a large following for any sport, which is why clubs have increasingly become serious about dedicating content for Indian fans. Some even offer Hindi content via social networks, which underlines how far things have come.