ISL 2016: Gianluca Zambrotta says five foreigners in starting XI is a 'balanced' ratio

Kolkata: Iterating that the Indian Super League (ISL) was growing well, Delhi Dynamos head coach Gianluca Zambrotta on Friday hoped that it would be on par with other marquee football leagues of the world in a few years. But the Italian soccer great disagreed with the view that the authorities needed to allow more Indians in the final eleven to develop the country's football standards.

 ISL 2016: Gianluca Zambrotta says five foreigners in starting XI is a balanced ratio

File image of ISL team Delhi Dynamos' coach Gianluca Zambrotta. AFP

The key member of the 2006 World Cup champions Italian side said the present ISL system of allowing six foreigners and five Indians in the field ensured quality and balance.

NorthEast United FC head coach Nelo Vingada recently opined that the playing eleven should comprise seven Indians and four foreigners to help Indian football grow faster.

"Now, there is a good balance…. You need to ensure the quality remains. At the moment, it is well-balanced," said the 39-year-old former Juventus and Barcelona star.

The celebrated player, who won 98 caps for the Italian national team including in three World Cups, sounded bullish about the ISL.

"The difference between the ISL and La Liga or Serie A… there is a considerable difference. But the positive thing is that the Hero ISL is growing very well.

"So in a few years down the line, it will be on the same level as Serie A, La Liga or any other league… . It is very important that we have good coaches as well foreign players here because in a few years it will be a very competitive league," Zambrotta said on the eve of his side's outing against Atletico de Kolkata.

Both sides have secured six points from four games so far.

However, Zambrotta conceded that the going would be anything but easy on the morrow at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium.

"Atlético de Kolkata are a very good team, they play very well. It will not be an easy match for us."

The Italian, who was appointed head coach of Delhi earlier this year stepping into the shoes of Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos said he didn't have a second thought on accepting the offer.

"I didn't have a second thought as regards coming here and coach in India. India has a good opportunity to grow in the right way," he added.

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Updated Date: Oct 22, 2016 10:39:44 IST