Bollywood movie “Goal” has tied up with Manchester United Football Club in the hope of scoring a major hit when it is released at the end of the month. Indian hunk John Abraham plays the role of a footballer inspired by the English Premier League champions.
“It’s great to be associated with the Manchester United Club for our film,” Abraham told Tuesday’s The Times of India. “I have been a die-hard soccer fan since childhood and I have been idolising Manchester United since then.” The movie’s director Vivek Agnihotri said it was the first time that the club would be associated with an Indian movie. “We have shot in (the) club premises which is also another first for any Indian movie,” he said.
The Times of India said England’s Wayne Rooney and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo will be among the United heroes featured in promotional clips for the movie. Bollywood bombshell Bipasha Basu, Abraham’s girlfriend, also stars in “Goal.” The story revolves around a club facing closure unless they start winning games.
The manager takes his players to Manchester United, not to learn to sing and dance in traditional Bollywood style, but to seek inspiration. With India’s economy booming and new audiences being drawn to the cinema, Bollywood films are branching out into new fields. “Chak De India” (Go India), a film based about hockey, proved a roaring success this year with superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the role of a disgraced player who turns the Indian women’s hockey team into world cup winners.