Indian football: Merlin Group brings Ronaldinho's R10 Academy to West Bengal

Ronaldinho's R10 Football AcademyMerlin Group

The Merlin Group, a real estate conglomerate in India, has unveiled Brazilian icon Ronaldinho among Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff as part of the 'RISE - Sports Republic' project.

The project in Rajarhat, which is close to the city of Kolkata, is touted to house the state of the art R10 academy along with the other planned sporting facilities in the fields of swimming, cricket and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

According to the given timeframes, the R10 academy is set to be up and running in the next five months and the sports township is said to be equipped with an all-weather football ground where five-a-side- seven-a-side and nine-a-side games can be played simultaneously.

Ronaldinho's R10 Football AcademyMerlin Group

"West Bengal, as well as India, is the treasure-trove of untrained talents in sports. There is no dearth of talent but I sensed a sports infrastructure gap in Bengal.  There is a dire need for identifying and grooming talents from the grassroot level. This motivated me to set up a world class sports infrastructure and sports academies of internationally acclaimed brands to nurture the talents," said Saket Mohta, Managing Director, Merlin Group.

The R10 Academy has an exclusive training system and a Virtues Program for girls and boys between the ages of 4 and 17. Already present in North America, South America, Asia and the Middle East, the brand plans of further expansion across the globe.