Zico asserts need of more Indian players in ISL teams

Zico also called for a longer Indian Super League which he said would be better for Indian football.

By: IANS | Kolkata | Updated: October 15, 2016 3:20 pm
isl, indian super league, isl 2016, zico, zico brazil, zico fc goa, brazil zico, zico isl, india football, indian football team, india football league, indians in isl, indian players isl, isl indian players, isl format, isl length, football news, sports news Zico has been the manager of FC Goa since the inception of ISL in 2014. (File Photo)

Brazilian legend and FC Goa head coach Zico on Saturday said that there is still a lot of room for improvement as far as Indian football and the footballers are concerned.

Attending the pre-match press conference ahead of their tie against Atletico de Kolkata here, the 63-year old said, “There are more foreigners than Indians which is not helpful. There hasn’t been a lot of improvement in these three years. Indian players need to be more in the starting XI.”

Zico said the performances of the Indian national team hasn’t been great in the last three years so the impact of the Indian Super League (ISL) is yet to be witnessed.

“See the national team’s performance in these years. There hasn’t been much improvement.

“Overall there is still a long way to go. We do have good talents coming from ISL but I feel Indian players need to play in key positions. Now striker, midfielder places are occupied by foreign players,” he said.

India, in contrast, have won nine out of their 11 matches this year which has been a sharp departure from their poor string of results last year in the World Cup qualifiers.

Zico also called for a longer ISL which he said would be better for Indian football.

“A longer league will certainly be better,” the Brazilian legend said.

Goa have lost three matches in a row, a first for last season’s finalists. Zico though refused to read too much into their early form saying ‘nothing is lost yet.’

“If we win two games we will be at par with ATK. So nothing is lost yet. In this tournament it does not matter if you finish first or fourth. What matters is making the play-offs.

“We are focussed on that. ATK are a nice side and we will do our best to neutralise their power,” he remarrked.

Zico confirmed that there are no injury concerns at present for his team.

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