Touch of Italy in Delhi Dynamos, Zambrotta to coach

dc-Cover-pa1m6qfbp4e8n4u1inamrit3s6-20160705212114.MediItalian Gianluca Zambrotta was on Tuesday unveiled as the new head coach of Delhi Dynamos and the 2006 World Cup winner straightaway declared that his side would gun for the title this Indian Super League season.

New Delhi: Italian Gianluca Zambrotta was on Tuesday unveiled as the new head coach of Delhi Dynamos and the 2006 World Cup winner straightaway declared that his side would gun for the title this Indian Super League season.

The 39-year-old Zambrotta, who was part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning team, replaces another World Cup winner Roberto Carlos of Brazil at the helm of affairs.

Zambrotta is the third coach of Delhi Dynamos in as many years and he has signed a two year contract. Dutchman Harm van Veldhoven was the coach of Delhi Dynamos in the inaugural season before Carlos’ stint last year.

“I am delighted to be part of the Delhi Dynamos family. It’s a great opportunity for me to be coach of this side. The objective is, as Prashant Agarwal (Delhi Dynamos president) wants it, is to win the ISL title and create history. I would love to do my bit in taking Indian football to the next level,” Zambrotta told reporters at a press conference after his unveiling as the head coach.

“My contract is for two years and I look forward to a great stint at the club. There is a lot of work to do and we will do it professionally. The home stadium is beautiful and I would promise you that Delhi Dynamos will play attractive, attacking football with good defence and organisation,” said Zambrotta who is regarded as one of the best full-backs of his generation in the world.

Prashant said, “We are proud to welcome another champion in our midst. Zambrotta comes with tremendous experience and a formidable reputation. We trust him to lead our Lions (Delhi Dynamos) to victory.”

Zambrotta had a two-year coaching stint with Swiss club Chiasso before coming here and he said former national team-mate and marquee player of Delhi Dynamos in the first season, Alessandro del Piero gave him a lot of encouragement to go to India.

“I heard a lot about the ISL from Alessandro who is my friend and former teammate. He gave me a lot of insights into Delhi Dynamos’ vision and philosophy. I liked what he told me and I did not need to think twice when Prashant brought up the proposal,” Zambrotta said.

“Carlos is a living legend and he did very well to take Dynamos to the semifinals last year. I know the expectations from me will be high. But I am confident of taking those last two extra steps with the team. We will do our best to bring people to the stadium,” said Zambrotta who has won 98 caps for the Italian national team between 1999 and 2010.

Delhi Dynamos finished fifth in the inaugural season in 2014 and reached the semifinals last year.

Asked how much he knew about Indian football and ISL, he said, “I followed ISL and Indian football a bit, mostly with inputs from friends and Alessandro. I want Delhi Dynamos to do well. I love challenges and I love to know places and new cultures.”

On Italy’s loss to Germany in the Euro 2016, Zambrotta said, “Italy played beautiful football and the team could have played in the final and won the tournament. But the team lost to Germany. It is like a lottery in the penalty shootout.

“I don’t know who will win the Euro but I hope for a fairytale ending to the tournament.”

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