Indian Super League: Delhi Dynamos announce former Italy star Gianluca Zambrotta as Head Coach
Italian Gianluca Zambrotta becomes the latest foreign name to join the Indian Super League when the 39-year-old was unveiled as the head coach of Delhi Dynamos F.C ahead of the third season of Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday. Zambrotta will be replacing another star Roberto Carlos who handled the coaching responsibilities of the team for the second season in which the team managed to find a place in the semis.
The Italian, who has plied his trade for the top clubs of the world including Barcelona, AC Milan and Juventus, has won the Serie A title in Italy thrice and also laid his hand on the Supercopa De Espana with Barcelona. He appeared 98 times in the Italian jersey and represented the country in three European Championships apart from being part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2006.
“I am delighted to be part of the Delhi Dynamos family. I have heard such wonderful things about the ISL from friends and contemporaries,” said Zambrotta. The fullback and winger emphasised the insights he received from his Italian teammate Alessandro del Piero, who was the marquee player of the Dynamos in the inaugural season of ISL, that helped him decide about taking up this role. “I followed Indian football mainly through my friends who have played here, especially Alessandro.”
The defender who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 tackled questions with the same elan as he tackled the strikers on the field. When asked whether a month is enough to build a team, he said, “Even back in Italy, the preparations for the league begin just a month before. So, it is not a less time in my opinion to build a team.”
Zambrotta said he enjoyed the first impressions of Delhi Dynamos. “The stadium is beautiful and belongs to a great team. I will hope to get more and more people to the stadium to watch us play our football,” said Zambrotta. He also expressed his hurt at the ouster of Italy at the hands of Germany in Euro 2016. “Italy had beautiful possibilities in the tournament. But unfortunately, they found Germany in their way. As they say in any game, its a bit of a lottery in the end,” Zambrotta said.
He asserted his seriousness regarding the job when he declared while answering a question, “My contract is for two years which is not a short time. And my first objective is to win the tournament with the team in that period,” said the new coach.
Earlier, Prashant Agarwal, the President of Delhi Dynamos talked about the journey of the club. “The first year was a learning curve for all of us. We wanted to do a lot but the team couldn't extract the best out of all. But it was great to have Roberto Carlos in 2015 with us where we reached the semis even. But who are we to stop Roberto, if Real Madrid wants him,” he said with a chuckle.