Coaches more important than stars in ISL: Sunil Chhetri

Mar 26, 2014, 08:18 IST | Amit Kamath

With world famous footballers like Hernan Crespo, Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljunberg, Michael Owen, etc likely to participate in the franchise-based Indian Super League (ISL) that will kick off in September this year, one would expect Indian players to be excited about rubbing shoulders with such super stars.

India captain Sunil Chhetri with Henderson Dias yesterday
India captain Sunil Chhetri with Henderson Dias yesterday

However, India's football captain Sunil Chhetri believes it will be the presence of quality coaches that will ultimately help Indian footballers in the league.

"It's great to have players like Hernan Crespo or Michael Owen participating. They are great players, who will share their experiences with us in the dressing room and that will be will be huge for us.

But what is important is the kind of coaching the players get because this will make the standard of Indian football better. I think the more important aspect is to get the right coaches," the 29-year-old said on the sidelines of an event at gaming centre SMAAASH yesterday.

Chhetri however, wasn't too sure about his own participation in the league. "I am very much excited. I don't know the dynamics yet. I don't know if Bengaluru FC will buy a franchise and I don't know what my future is going to be since I have a three-year contract with Bengaluru FC," he said.

Chhetri also brushed aside concerns that ISL could spell doom for the I-League. "I hope the ISL will have a positive impact on the I-League that has been there for so many years and it has to stay. We have to find the right kind of mix between ISL and the I-League," he added.

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