Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing in India was a joke, says Gianluca Zambrotta
Delhi Dynamos head coach and Italian World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta took Indian football fans by storm when he announced that Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be lured to Delhi Dynamos, where he can end his career.
Zambrotta, who joined the Delhi side after ending his playing career, wanted United's 35-year-old striker Ibrahimovic to follow a similar route and end his career in the Indian Super League.
But a rude surprise came in on the 29th of November at Guwahati when he shattered many dreams as he ruled the entire episode a joke. “Of course, it's a joke. I played with Zlatan and of course, I am very happy for that. At the moment, it is not possible. But, you never say never and in the future might be possible!”
Ready for the game against NorthEast
The Italian coach said this ahead of his team’s crucial match against NorthEast United. It’s a do or die situation for NorthEast as they face the wrath of Delhi Dynamos in a must-win encounter. Delhi, who have almost qualified for the playoffs, however, aren’t taking their opponents lightly. This comes despite the fact that NorthEast have never registered a win against Delhi.
“It will be an interesting match because NorthEast is a quality side and they play good football. The past is not relevant. What is important is how will the next game unfold. Each match is different and I am only thinking about tomorrow's match and not about the past,” Zambrotta stated.
"It's complicated for NorthEast if they have to keep their play-off hopes alive. We are also here to play good football and to attain the maximum (points) that we can,” the coach further added.
Zambrotta also looked quite satisfied with his team. “The defence is not a problem. Our team is very attacking and when you attack too much then you have to assume the risk to give opportunities to the opposition. But, at the moment we are working on this and we will strive to better our game in a defensive way,” he said.
NorthEast United coach Nelo Vingada, on the other hand, understands the gravity of the situation and knows what his team needs to do. "The game will be important because everything is still in our hands. However, the Tuesday night match will also be important because both teams are also in contention for the playoffs,” said the coach.
“The game will be like one of the finals we have played after we lost in Goa to keep our position alive. We will see what happens and try to bring the situation in Kochi against Kerala Blasters on the final day. It is a tight situation as even Kolkata and Kerala will be looking at our game tomorrow,” he further added.
Like their opponents, the home team do not have any injury concerns and Vingada insists that his team is highly motivated. "In the last three games, our team has come to a better level performance wise. We were not happy as we conceded a last minute goal in Kolkata and against Pune, it was not a great game but we won with heart," he continued.
Vingada also admitted that Delhi’s performances in the tournament so far were not a surprise for him. "We come up against a team who have already qualified and is a good team. They have been scoring the most goals and that comes as no surprise to me," he concluded.