Indian actor and the captain of a celebrity football team Abhishek Bachchan was on a roll in Dubai this weekend as he scored multiple goals with the local press with his wit, charm, and effortless banter.
Bachchan along with a string of Bollywood A-listers such as Ranbir Kapoor and Kartik Aaryan who are a part of the All Stars Football Club (ASFC) — an 11-member celebrity-studded football team — that was in Dubai for a charity football match against Emirates United, a team of ex-football players on May 7.
“It’s wonderful to get this opportunity to play for humanity. It takes a lot for all these actors and directors from our film industry to take time out every Sunday for this sport. We are honoured to be representing our film industry here,” said Bachchan at a press conference.
He also joked that his excitement faded a tad bit when he saw the fit-and-sturdy opposition team. “We are very excited, but slightly less excited after seeing the opposition team. We promise to give it our best on the field and if we are losing, we will just start dancing on the field,” said Bachchan.
But he added that his team filled with actors — whose faces are their fortunes — were committed to playing some fierce football. “We take it very seriously! These boys practice a lot in Mumbai every Sunday for over three hours. We’re not natural athletes. We belong to the set who believe that it doesn’t matter how good you do something, what matters is how good you look doing it. So, we try our best to get our hair and make-up right! Jokes apart, it’s an honour to play with a squad of ex-professional footballers,” said Bachchan.
The stars also spoke about how football as a sport taught them vital life lessons. Kapoor, who recently got married to actress Alia Bhatt in an intimate ceremony, claimed that football gave him much-needed confidence when he was growing up.
“When I was in school, I was never good at studies. And football was the first thing I tried as a kid, and it gave me huge confidence. It taught me about team spirit, discipline, and hard work … If and when I have children, sports is something I will encourage and instill,” said Kapoor.
For Bachchan, sports taught him a thing or two about dealing with failures.
“A team sport is a fantastic teacher about life lessons. It teaches you to never give up … It teaches you about the spirit of fraternity. It teaches you about teamwork and most importantly about sportsmanship spirit,” said Bachchan.
The two stars also joked that they will be dancing to the hook step of ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ song, an upcoming film starring Aryan as a show of solidarity from his peers.
The banter and camaraderie between the stars was evident as Bachchan joked that Aryan should ideally get married soon since the other two were already hitched.
“He’s a nice chap and here’s here in Dubai for two days, ladies,” joked Bachchan.
While these actors bonded over their love for the game every Sunday in Mumbai, it also taught these privileged actors a thing or two about facing defeat gracefully. When asked about how they would combat sore-losers syndrome, Bachchan had an interesting take. “Winning and losing is a part of life. Sports teaches you how to deal with failure … What’s important is to carry on and pick yourself up after failing. Doing your best is your eventual goal … I don’t know anyone in any field who hasn’t failed. Fail six times, but get up seven times,” said Bachchan.
Later that evening, they put this theory to test as they played a friendly match for charity against a team of former footballers.
“Dubai is a fantastic destination for everything. They have the best food and are great for shopping. It’s probably the safest city in the world and as a sporting destination, it’s absolutely fantastic. Such matches help draw attention to the sporting infrastructure that Dubai has to offer. Dubai can be a hub for all sports,” said Bachchan when asked about this city as a sporting destination.
Did you know?
Abhishek’s lucky jersey number is 32, while Ranbir Kapoor is 8 since it coincides with his mother and actress Neetu Singh’s birthday and he loves that the digit is an infinity sign when placed horizontally.