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Indian Super League: Delhi Dynamos unveil Miguel Angel Portugal as coach

Delhi Dynamos have officially unveiled ex-Real Madrid midfielder Miguel Angel Portugal as their new coach for the fourth edition of Indian Super League (ISL).

football Updated: Jul 17, 2017 20:37 IST
Shayne Dias
Shayne Dias
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian Super League,ISL,Miguel Angel Portugal
Miguel Angel Portugal assumes responsibility for managing the club from Italian Legend Gianluca Zambrotta, under whom Delhi Dynamos FC managed to make it to the semis of the last season of ISL. (HT Photo )

On Monday, Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Delhi Dynamos officially unveiled Miguel Angel Portugal as their new manager on a one-year deal.

Portugal’s coaching abilities first came to the fore at Real Madrid’s ‘C’ and ‘B’ sides. Since then, he has managed La Liga side Racing Santander before moving to clubs in Brazil and Algeria.

(Read | Indian Super League: Jamshedpur FC sign Steve Coppell as head coach)

Speaking mostly in Spanish, the excitement was clear as Portugal addressed the media. “I like being a part of new projects from their developmental stage. I expect the league to take off in popularity in a few years and I am excited to be a part of this football revolution in India”, he said on the decision to join the Dynamos.

His managerial style, like many of his compatriots, is based on keeping the ball. “I want to play to win, and to do so we must keep possession but also play intelligently. We mustn’t keep possession for possession’s sake”.

(Read | Atletico de Kolkata name Teddy Sheringham as coach for upcoming ISL season)

This doesn’t mean the Dynamos will look to bring in a lot of Spanish players. “I prioritise talent over nationality”, was his reply when asked if he would look to use more Spanish players.

Given that Portugal worked extensively with Real Madrid’s youth sides, it should come as no surprise that he is looking forward to coaching Indian youngsters. “I intend using my experience from Real Madrid to teach young Indian players. Indian players are speedy and have a passion for the game,” he said.

(Read | All India Football Federation sacks Sreejith Kamal as team doctor of U-23 side)

However, he will have a lot more on his hands than just coaching. The Dynamos chose to retain none of their players going into this year’s player draft, which means the manager will have to build a squad from scratch.

But this didn’t seem to worry Portugal. “I have seen many I-League and ISL games before coming so I am well prepared for the draft,” said the manager, who was also unperturbed about how much the club would have to spend to get a new marquee player. “It is the president’s money, not mine”, he quipped when asked about the signing.

(Read | Nothing finalised with Premier Futsal, still part of AIFF: Bhaichung Bhutia)

The long-term goal of the Dynamos is to build from the bottom up with an emphasis on bringing in young players. This is why the club believes Portugal is the man for the job; his football philosophy is based around winning and bringing in new talent.

“We want Delhi fans to cheer for young players from the city instead of foreign stars who come for a year and then leave,” said Dynamos’ CEO Ashish Shah.

NorthEast United F.C. appoint João Carlos Pires de Deus

NorthEast United F.C. have confirmed that Portuguese manager João Carlos Pires de Deus will take over the reins as head coach of the side.

The 40-year old has had stints in Portugal, Spain and even Angola. He has also the managed the Cape Verde national team in a managerial career that has spanned nearly a decade.

First Published: Jul 17, 2017 20:06 IST