Kolkata: The Indian Super League over the years has witnessed many players emerge out of the tournament and make it big in the national circuit, with Sandesh Jhingan being it’s most prime example and Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Ángel Portugal feels very soon a new Virat Kohli, this time in the form of a footballer will emerge out of the ISL.
“The Hero ISL will eventually see a player emerge – someone like the Virat Kohli of Indian football – who will then carry the team in the future and inspire youngsters to play the sport. The development of youngsters is very important for any country’s progress in a sport and this league will help in that,” said Miguel Portugal at an ISL media event on Sunday in Kolkata.
The U-17 World Cup in India for the first time bought India into the limelight as a footballing nation and although trading the unknown, the young ‘Boys in Blue’ put up a brave performance with Dheeraj and Jeakson Singh starring for India.
Impressed with the young lad’s performance, Portugal pointed out Dheeraj singh and Komal Thatal with the potential to play in Europe. “The Indian goalkeeper and Komal can play in Europe when they grow up and need only a good physique and a better formation,” he added.
Speaking among the same lines NorthEast United Coach João Carlos Pires de Deus, when questioned about the Samba influence in his team, instead pointed out to the developing players as the ones who can create magic in the near future.
“You ask me if the Brazilians in my team will produce magic… but what is magic? It’s not limited to Brazilians. Even the Indian players in our team are very skillful and can produce a lot of magic. You see the kid with blonde hair in the U17 World Cup team (Komal Thatal) and he was producing magic. So it’s not limited to a nationality,” he said.
Iain Hume had called the ISL a ‘League’ this season and all the coaches agreed that the longevity of the tournament will not only help them impart their philosophy in a better way among the players but will also give more rest and help the team maintain the same level of energy in all the matches. The move will also develop Indian football and create a bright future for the players.