Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has signed up for the Premier Futsal League in India. On Thursday, the league unveiled the former United and England midfielder as its second marquee player. Scholes will follow former Barcelona and Portugal midfielder Deco, whose signature the league confirmed earlier this month.
Scholes represented Manchester United 718 times in a stellar 21-year-old career that began in 1992. He won 11 Premier League titles with the club, and is also a two-time Champions League winner (1999 and 2008).
Besides Scholes and Deco, the league has also secured the services of Brazilian futsal legend Falcao, hailed repeatedly by FIFA as the world’s best futsal player. Falcao is also a two-time FIFA Futsal World Cup winner, when he was part of the Brazilian squad that won the tournament in 2008 and 2012.
The franchise-based league, which will take place in India next month, was launched in April with Portuguese football legend Luis Figo as its president. India’s test captain Virat Kohli was named as its brand ambassador. The league is the brainchild of a group of Indian entrepreneurs, including Xavier Britto, Dinesh Raj, Abhinandan Balasubramanian, Nityashree Subban and Balu Nayar, under the entity of Premier Futsal Management Pvt. Ltd.
Futsal, for the uninitiated, is a popular version of football, mostly played indoors between two teams of five players each. Futsal, since its founding in 1930, has grown in popularity, especially in Latin America. The game is currently administered by two bodies—FIFA and the Asociación Mundial de Fútbol de Salón (AMF).