H S BEDI / NEW DELHI
Delhi Dynamos Football Club today introduced former Real Madrid midfielder Miguel Angel Portugal as their head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League season.
The 61-year-old Miguel, who was a part of the La Liga winning Real Madrid side of 1979-80, assumes responsibility for managing the club from Italian great Gianluca Zambrotta under whom Delhi Dynamos managed to make it to the semi-finals last season.
Miguel,is on a one-year contract but club officials said his contract can be extended if the results are satisfactory. Prior to joining Delhi Dynamos he was coach of the Algerian premier league club CS Constantinois.
” I have workedas a coach throughout the world and covered three continents till now and will be bringing that expertise and diverse coaching experience to India” Miguel told media persons here this afternoon.
“My upcoming stint in India will take the count to four continents.I like to work with young players and to be a good football player, football has to be in the mind and the boots of the players.” he said .
Asked how much he has seen Indian football and what he thinks are the qualities of Indian footballers, he replied “In India, there is a lot potential in terms of football and we are going to build up on that. Three important qualities, which define Indian players, are as follows – speed, agility and passion.
” We have a huge pool of talent in India and I have watched all the matches of the Indian Super League as well as I-league. I am super excited to kickoff this journey, come September” .
Talking about his style and approach towards the game, the Spainard said “I would be emphasizing on retaining the ball in the field and keeping intelligent possession. I like to play to win the game and like to be very competitive.
The Spaniard said when he was in Algeria, the ISL was always a point of discussion. He also said that he had seen Delhi Dynamos games and other ISL matches on video.” I was impressed with the players ‘ attacking football. It was not a difficult decision for me to sign up to play my part in shaping the club’s future success,
Miguel’s joining the city based club was facilitated by Doha-based Aspire Academy, with which Delhi Dynamos last month signed a multi-year technical partnership.
He said ” Aspire academy has put great belief in me and they are doing a commendable job by providing world-class assistance to develop the team and its future. Their expertise in the field of football is surely going to take Indian football to new heights.
Miguel’s success during his career with Real Madrid as both player and coach is clear proof of his quality and his knowledge of the game. This is a new season for Delhi Dynamos with a new team and it was extremely critical for us to have someone like Miguel at the helm,” said Rohan Sharma, Director Delhi Dynamos.
“We will be a club which will be focusing on youth development so that we can have our own home-grown players from our academy to play in the first eleven after a few years,” he added.