Brazil legend and FC Goa coach Zico believes that the two month-long Indian Super League (ISL) will definitely raise the standard of football in the country but cautions that the change won't be instant.
FC Goa's co-owner Shrinivas Dempo greets the Goa franchise's Brazilian coach Zico
"It (improving the standard of a sport in any country) takes time for sure. But it can improve. Success and increasing the standard of football in India depends on the people. The government and federations can work together for success.
Each player needs to work to improve themselves. It's important to believe that you can be better," Zico told mid-day yesterday.
Zico, the most high-profile manager in the ISL, comes to India having worked wonders in Japan, where he led the national team to the 2006 World Cup and the 2006 Asian Cup title after four years at the helm.
Apart from the obvious success of the national team on the pitch, the legendary Brazilian is also credited with introducing a sense of professionalism in the J-League during his association with Kashima Antlers in 1999.
However, in India his work is cut out as he has less than a month to ensure his wards understand and adapt to his coaching style. But he is not perturbed by the challenge and believes he can, in fact, bring out the best in his wards.
"India is a very large country, but it is very unfortunate that the standard of football is not too high. For success, we have to work very hard. I have done so in my country and will do the same here.
"If Indian players would like to grow, it depends on the players' mentality. We can provide help, but the ability to grow lies solely with the player.
My job is to bring out the best in the players and I'll do that. Coaching a team is generally more difficult than playing football, be it in India or any other country. But I am optimistic about this project. My objective is to take the team to the final and to win," he said.