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ISL 2016: Delhi Dynamos' coach Gianluca Zambrotta happy with six foreigners in the ISL

Delhi have picked up six points from their four games so far this season in the ISL and are unbeaten in the competition.

Gianluca Zambrotta
Gianluca Zambrotta’s Delhi side will take on Atletico de Kolkata on Saturday (Image courtesy: ISL)

In the recent past, coaches from different ISL franchises viz. Zico of FC Goa, Nelo Vingada of NorthEast United and Marco Materazzi of Chennaiyin FC had voiced their opinion regarding the need for a change of policy when it comes to the number of foreign players allowed in an ISL game for the league to grow.  Italian legend and the current Delhi Dynamos coach Gianluca Zambrotta, however, went against the popular mandate, stating that he was quite comfortable with the way the league is at the at the moment.

“I have no problems with six foreigners playing in the league,” quipped the legendary full-back. “It doesn’t matter what nationality the player belongs to. I will try to get the best eleven out on the pitch.”

The undefeated sides in the Indian Super League, the Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata will lock horns at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on Saturday with both teams looking to give their campaign a kick-start after a flurry of draws.

While the visitors (Delhi) are ahead of Kolkata, that lead comes by the virtue of goal difference and going into the game, Zambrotta sounded cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances.

“Atletico de Kolkata has a very good squad. Although their forwards aren’t performing as expected of them, we are not taking them very lightly. We have a very difficult match ahead tomorrow but we will have our chances – that is for sure,” stated the Italian. 

The competitive nature of the league will help Zambrotta

Speaking of his initial experiences in the country, the former Barcelona man was impressed with what ISL is doing and firmly believes that the league will help Indian football grow. And thus, he explained that it was not a very tough decision for him to come to India when the offer was presented to him. However, Zambrotta did speak to a number of his colleagues, who as he informed, had nothing but good things to say about the league. 

“Before officially joining Delhi Dynamos, I had consulted with the likes of Luis Garcia, Marco Materazzi and Alessandro Del Piero and all of them had very positive things to say about the Hero ISL. I also believe that the competitive nature of the tournament will help me a lot to develop as a coach and a tactician in the future,” Zambrotta informed.

On the other hand, Atletico de Kolkata coach Jose Molina sounded confident of getting a positive result and their first home victory of the season against Delhi on Saturday. Kolkata have recently been pushed out of the playoff spots. However, the Spaniard didn’t seem to be bothered by the recent results. 

“It is true that we are currently not amongst the top four teams in the Hero ISL table. But there is still a long way to go in the tournament. If we win tomorrow, we’ll move up by three spots to reach the second position on the table.”

The Spaniard had some good news for the Kolkata fans, declaring both Ofentse Nato and Tiri fit for the Delhi game. However, their marquee player Helder Postiga, who had to be pulled out during their second game of the season will not be in contention till their game against NorthEast United on the 28th of this month.

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