Young footballers in Maharashtra now have the opportunity to learn the Brazilian style of playing the world's most popular game.
The Indian Football Schools has partnered with Brasil Futebol Academia (BFA) to set up an institute at Cooperage here where youngsters will be trained in Brazilian method of soccer, known for its creative, free-flowing and fast-paced style.
BFA is the brainchild of Brazilian footballers Roberto Mendes da Silva (Beto) and Jose Ramirez Barretto, who have played in the I-League, India's top football championship.
"We always felt that our soccer school will bring in the best names to this Association. When our previous contract ran out, we were in search of new names. We tried - from Arsenal to Liverpool - and all such names we thought of bringing to Cooperage. But I think the best fit was the BFA," said Western India Football Association CEO Henry Menezes.
"When we were talking about the curriculum for this academy in which we are going to be executive partners, we saw their philosophy is similar to Indian philosophy," he said.
Menezes challenged the two former I-League stars to produce a talent to represent India in the U-17 World Cup to be hosted by the country in 2017.
"Maharashtra has 2.5 million kids in the age group of 6-17 and that is the resource we have to pick out one player for the U-17 World Cup. I want to put up a challenge and a target to BFA that they need to bring out this player from this academy to represent the World Cup for the U-17."
Explaining the idea to start BFA in India, Barreto said: "When we started talking about it, we said let's give something to Indian football because Indian football has given a lot to us. Today we are halfway in moving BFA forward."
BFA was started in 2009 has already set up academies in Goa and Kolkata.
"Normally, a Brazilian player, when he is successful in his career, goes back to his own village and his own place and starts to give back what he has gained. That is why Brazil has not stopped producing players.
"Because players who are successful give back to the game and it never stops. Since we were here for so long, we decided to do it here instead of Brazil because Brazil has so many opportunities," Silva said.
The programme at the academy has four modules, with each one lasting about three months.