Nelo Vingada, the new NorthEast United coach honoured to be in the ISL, stresses on youth development
Nelo Vingada walks into the room casually and takes a seat beside me. He’s only landed in India yesterday, and his day is already lined up with commitments. Yet he seems full of energy and enthusiasm and is happy to indulge in a lengthy conversation on the game he is clearly immensely passionate about.
The newly appointed NorthEast United Football Club coach has colossal experience in management, and his CV makes for impressive reading. He’s had massively successful spells as Carlos Queiroz’s assistant with wins in consecutive U-20 World Cups with Portugal, also finishing 3rd in the 1995 World Youth Championship managing the same side as Head Coach.
Vingada has managed International sides like Jordan and Saudi Arabia and has plenty of experience in club football as well, and my discussion with him clearly illustrated the vision and experience he will bring to the Indian Super League.
“It’s a great honour for me to be a member of the North East United family and of course, Indian Football. Things here are improving in India; the level of the players is getting better than before. The local coaches are important to the development of football. India is moving towards another level and can move up the FIFA rankings soon.”
Vingada gets to the point straight away and immediately stresses on the need to concentrate on the youth,
“It is important to look to young players who can produce, and giving them the support and help of the system. It is important to look inwards, it’s great to have foreigners but that isn’t the solution. We can be a part of the solution, but the most important part is the internal system. I will, of course, do my best with North East United, but also I am here to help Indian football to improve in the future. I hope I can extend my experience to help Indian football.
“North East were not so good in their first season, in the second they almost qualified for the play-offs. Now, I feel John Abraham and the people working with him are making a great effort to bring better solutions to the club and we will try to bring the club to a position that their fans deserve. We will fight to be in the playoffs.”
What will Vingada bring to Indian Football?
Vingada has immense experience as a manager, and I asked him what specifically he will look to bring to Indian Football. He stressed on the Portuguese Indian connection, that dates back hundreds of years and also talks about the essence of professionalism in the sport.
“I want to learn from Indian culture and my experience here, and our attitude will be to learn each day, each moment. Also, there is a historical connection between Portugal and India, we must think about this connection. I believe I can bring many things from my experience. It’s also important for India to start becoming stronger in Asia, their Asian ranking is not good. We have to teach the youth and help them, not only in how to play football but in being professional.
“To be a good player is one part, but to be the best you have to be a great professional. A great example is Cristiano Ronaldo. Of course, he’s a fantastic player, but he’s a superman as a professional. I believe that if Ronaldo wasn’t as professional as he is every day, he could not reach the level he’s at.”