Delhi Dynamos fans have had a fairly good start to the third edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). The capital side has won one and drawn one and has the right personnel at the top in the form of Gianluca Zambrotta. To add to promises for the future, the Italian remains optimistic of bringing former Sweden and current Manchester United striker to Indian shores once he calls time on his journey in the European leagues. Zambrotta in an exclusive interview to Indian Express said ‘Ibra’ will not mind playing in India after his retirement from European football.
“Given his fan following in India, I think Zlatan would want to come and end his career here. On my end, I will definitely try and convince him to play for Delhi Dynamos,” Zambrotta said.
The former Italian World Cup winner defender, Zambrotta, who played with Zlatan for AC Milan, took the reigns as Delhi Dynamos head coach in July this year. His former Italian teammate Alessandro Del Piero who played for the Roaring Lions in the first season of ISL convinced him to take the job. “Del Piero told me good things about the club and their sincerity towards football, which convinced me that it is the perfect opportunity for me,” he said.
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In the first game under charge for Delhi in ISL 2016, Zambrotta showed his intentions for the season by beating Chennaiyin FC 3-1. The second game against Kerala blasters was a close-knit affair which ended in a stalemate, but the coach was happy with the results.
“I am happy to have a professional set of players on my team. This allows us to work hard and the results from the first two matches are a good testament to the way they have been responding to our training sessions,” Zambrotta said.
The Delhi Dynamos players are equally thrilled with the Italian manager’s training methods.
“His approach is very different and enlightening. His tactical training and technical knowledge helps us to understand and develop our game. Really looking forward to more inputs from the champion Head Coach in the coming days,” midfielder Milan Singh said.
Explaining his success mantra, Zambrotta said, “My philosophy is that the footballers should be training hard every day, even on non-match days. It is critical that the entire team operates in a planned manner and attack and defend wherever needed.”
With an undefeated season, so far, the fans have also started getting behind the new coach. “The final third is where the team appears to be improving the most under manager Zambrotta. The team this season looks more clinical going forward under him” Anant Basudev Shadangi, the co-founder of Delhi Dynamos official fan club, Ultras Dynamos, said.
Zambrotta, who was earlier managing the Swiss team Chiasso before arriving in India, believes ISL to have a great future ahead.
“India will soon be a big destination for international football. Given the level of competitiveness in the Indian Super League and the quality of Indian players, I am sure it will be amongst the top five football leagues of the world in the next decade,” Zambrotta said.