Kerala Blasters unveiled their team ahead of the 2016 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) at a gala ceremony in Kochi on Wednesday. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, the co-owner of the team, was present at the event with other co-owners Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna.
In his speech, Tendulkar said that the team will play a brand of football that everyone loves. He highlighted that they were not there only to win matches, but also win hearts.
"To have all the Kerala Blasters fraternity over here is a special moment. Before joining Kerala Blasters, I had known that football was popular here, but I never really got a hands-on experience. When the ISL started, the euphoria that I witnessed is really difficult to put in words, and I'm sure that the new guys with the team will experience that this time as well," said Tendulkar in the event.
"Along with that, I would ask the fans to continue to stay with Kerala Blasters and back us. This is going to be a long season. There will be ups and downs, and there will be challenges, but that is the part and parcel of a sportsman's career," the 'little master', who sported traditional wear 'lungi' along with the team members, continued.
Kerala Blasters, who take on NorthEast United in the first match of ISL 2016 on Oct. 1 in Guwahati, will embark on a two-week long pre-season trip to Thailand on Wednesday. Steve Coppell's team are scheduled to play friendly games against some of the Thai Premier League and first division teams as well as other youth teams at the National Football Training Centre in Phuket, Thailand.
Kerala Blasters have as many as 11 foreign players at their disposal -- a clear statement that they are increasing their firepower in every department.
Industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and Allu Aravind were also present at the Kochi event, while popular Malayalam actor Nivin Pauly was the chief guest.
Watch the video from the Kerala Blasters team unveiling