Atletico Madrid return to India with Tata Football Academy partnership

Jamshedpur FC
The Spanish club has entered into a partnership with the Jamshedpur-based academy which will now be renamed as Atletico Tata Football Academia...

La Liga giants Atletico Madrid have made their return to Indian football through a partnership with the Tata Football Academy (TFA) which was announced on Wednesday.

As part of the partnership, the TFA will be renamed as the Tata Atletico Football Academia and will become the latest international collaboration by the Spanish club.

The deal sees Atletico provide technical support to the TFA academy in Jamshedpur with experts from the La Liga club visiting the facility from time to time along with the exchange of knowledge pertaining to multiple aspects such as player recruitments and scouting, video analysis, physiotherapy, facility management and periodic assessments.

The deal was announced in the presence of Atletico Madrid president Gil Marin in a ceremony held at New Delhi on Wednesday.

Atletico Madrid’s initial foray into Indian football had come through a part-stake in the then Atletico de Kolkata (now ATK) franchise when the Indian Super League was launched in 2014. The Spanish club was influential in recruiting the coaching staff and overseas signings during a partnership that lasted three seasons.

However, internal differences between Atletico Madrid and Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd consortium saw the partnership dissolved ahead of the start of the 2017-18 season. The Spanish club’s 25 per cent stake in the franchise was subsequently purchased by principal owner Sanjiv Goenka.

The seeds of a future partnership between Atletico and TFA were sown in the summer this year with ISL club Jamshedpur FC using the Spanish outfit’s Los Ángeles de San Rafael training facilities in Madrid for their pre-season preparations. Both TFA and Jamshedpur FC are owned by Tata Steel.

The appointment of former Atletico Madrid manager Cesar Ferrando as Jamshedpur’s head coach for the season was another step towards a potential tie-up.