ISL 2017: Indian football will take 20-30 years to develop, says Iain Hume
What's the story?
Iain Hume, who has been the top goal scorer in ISL as of now, will be leading the Kerala Blasters line up in season 4 as well which kicks off from 17 November 2017. He has observed the standards and progress in Indian football closely in past few years and believes it will take India another two to three decades to make a mark in international football.
He came up with this statement after comparing the Indian national football team's and Indian players in ISL performance with other countries and their leagues he has played in.
In case you didn't know
Hume has played for a number of British clubs before his stints in ISL including Leicester City, Preston North End, Doncaster Rovers and has scored six goals for the Canadian national team as well.
He also holds the record for most goals scored and most number of appearances in the Indian Super League with 23 goals in 46 appearances to his name. In his three seasons in the ISL, Hume played with Kerala Blasters in the inaugural season and with Atletico de Kolkata in the next two. He scored 18 goals in his second season.
The heart of the matter
India reached the top 100 of FIFA rankings recently and Hume praised the Blue Tigers for this massive achievement. However, he believes seriously being a world beater will take a lot of effort. Having played with two different Indian squads in past, he believes there are some really good players but Indian football needs more time to make a mark on the world stage.
"India did really well in the FIFA rankings. Its good to see them in the top 100. But still there are lot of things left to make their mark at the international platform," Hume said, speaking to the media in Mumbai.
"There are some quality players in India but it will take another 20-30 years to make their mark," he further said.
According to him, longer domestic leagues and some more teams will surely set a great standard for ISL in order to attract top talent. He also praised the increasing craze for Football among Indian audiences and the rising quality of football stadiums.
Hume will be representing his Kerala Blasters this season along with another legendary striker, Dimitar Berbatov and try to shoot up the Keralite club to its first ever ISL title.
Iain Hume is right in his judgement to much extent, considering the overall condition of non cricket sports in India. The right infrastructure and incentives to young footballers should make India a prominent country on the world football map.