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Indian Super League: Gianluca Zambrotta wants to make Delhi Dynamos a "world class" side

Amit Sinha
971   //    06 Jul 2016, 00:23 IST
Gianluca Zambrotta
Gianluca Zambrotta at his unveiling in Delhi

Maybe it was a mere coincidence or maybe it was a well thought out strategy by the organizers, but the stereos playing out Gladiator’s Now We Are Free theme before the event to unveil Delhi Dynamos’ new coach seemed prophetic. 2006 World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta took centre stage in a while with the same music playing in the background as he was announced as the new coach of the Delhi Dynamos in a glittering ceremony held at the team’s home ground Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

To achieve his ‘objective’, as he puts it passionately, of making Delhi Dynamos a world class team in the next two years, the Italian has a battle lying ahead of him as hard as one Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius fought.

The 39-year-old giant of Italian football, who was managing Swiss club Chiasso in the past two years, opened up in an interview with Sportskeeda about his playing days, his style and his future plans

You replaced a legend when you took the place of Paolo Maldini in the Italian setup. Now you’replacing another legend in Roberto Carlos. You’ve seen the pressure of World Cup final too. How is the pressure of taking up this job different from all these?

It is a really different thing to play in a team and to coach a side. As a player, you can channelise all your energies and aggression on the field. But as a coach, you can only do so much from the sidelines. So, the pressure is very different here and I am looking forward to it. Our first goal is to plan well and get together a good competitive team.The second objective will be to make it to the play offs, and once we are there, we will try to execute our third and final objective which is to win the league.

You had some of the best coaches in your playing career in the form of Roberto Donadoni and Marcello Lippi. Will we some reflection of them in your approach to coaching?

Well, I had the good fortune of playing under such big names of the game. Both Donadoni and Lippi were fabulous as a coach under whom I learned some great things as a footballer. As far as finding their reflection in my approach, well, I would say each coach is different. It depends on the team we have got actually. So, let’s see how it goes for me as a coach.

In your playing career, you gave English Premier League a miss. But as a manager, EPL is one place everyone wants to be. Do you also have your sights set on an assignment in England?

Zambrotta – Well, iI have a two-year contract with the Delhi Dynamos where my objective is to build a world-class team. For the next two years, that’s where I will be focusing my energies. As for future assignments, I would say let’s hope for the best.

Also read: NorthEast United FC re-sign Nicolas Velez for third season

Take us through the final moments of your World Cup win in 2006

It is difficult to put the experience in words, actually. Those were really indescribable moments. So many dreams of holding the World Cup aloft, but only a few go on to live that dream. I consider myself extremely lucky to have experienced it in my lifetime.

The U-17 World Cup will be held in India in the next year. What do you have to say about that?

It’s always very important to work with youngsters involved in the game. Getting young players to play on the big stage gives them much needed exposure and experience, which will put them in good stead in their playing careers in future. I wish my all the best to the tournament and hope its a success.

You had a reputation for spending hours in front of your mirror grooming your goatee. Throw some light on it

(Chuckles) I had a good one and I loved it. A bit of trimming would change my looks. So, I preferred to keep it that way.

Last but not the least, can we expect Gianluca Zambrotta to do to Delhi Dynamos what his country mate Claudio Ranieri did to Leicester City F.C?

Hopefully, yes (with a big smile)

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