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India catches World Cup fever

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Patrons at a bar in Mumbai are watching the World Cup even though India is not in the tournament. (Source: CNN) Patrons at a bar in Mumbai are watching the World Cup even though India is not in the tournament. (Source: CNN)
Cricket is far more popular in Indai, but some kids prefer soccer. (Source: CNN) Cricket is far more popular in Indai, but some kids prefer soccer. (Source: CNN)
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(CNN) – India has never been a football power. They’ve never even played in the World Cup, but that hasn’t stopped many people there from getting excited about the games in Brazil .And that enthusiasm has translated into big sales for business.

The football World Cup is being watched passionately in bars, homes and pubs across Mumbai. This, despite the fact that India is not participating, and quite frankly, isn’t anywhere near having a world-class football team.

“I don’t think my children’s children’s children will watch India play,” Sandeep Sachdev said.

India ranks a poor 154 in FIFA world rankings, so football fans in India just adopt other countries.

"Obviously Argentina," Sachdev said.

"Germany all the way," Kainaz Katrak said.

"Argentina," another fan said.

"My favorite team is Brazil,” Aryan said.

12-year-old Aryan Wadhwa is crazy about football. While his friend play cricket, he plays football.

"I like it because of the team spirit, and how they play they pass, they shoot,” Aryan said. “I like running. I like to get dirty.”

There are other reasons the game is popular.

"I know there are a lot of women watching it for the handsome footballers, but I do watch the sport as well," Katrak said.

It’s so popular in India, that one store has created a whole range of home furnishings around the World Cup.

“Which team sells the most?” CNN reporter Malika Kapur said.

“Actually, it was Spain at first, but then, they are out of the World Cup, so now it is Argentina is the most popular.” Melody Zosangliani Sharma of Serenity Blissful Living said.

Other fans are heady with excitement.

A hair salon is offering a range of footballer hair styles, so fans can look the part too.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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