Jose Antonio Cachaza, the managing director of LaLiga India spoke about the development of Indian football.
The massive influence of Spaniards – in terms of both coaches and players on Indian football is undeniable. In four of the six seasons of the Indian Super League, Spanish coaches successfully led their sides to the ISL title, which is further evidence of their commendable impact on these shores. Hence, it comes as no surprise that Jose Antonio Cachaza, the managing director of LaLiga India revealed that early talks have taken place with Spanish clubs to probably get involved in Indian football and ISL in the future.
“To work professionally in football in India is fantastic because they are shaping their football now. India are taking steps in the right direction, maybe not in the same way as it’s done in European countries, but the direction is the right one. Evidence is there. More kids playing at the grassroots and national teams are improving,” Cachaza told the IANS in an online interaction from Madrid.
ATK (Now ATK Mohun Bagan) previously had a partnership with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, which ended back in 2017. Accordingly, the LaLiga official affirmed that they are working to build similar relationships between Spanish and Indian clubs, further helping the ISL in it’s development.
“We are always ready to help ISL in whatever way we can. It’s great that big corporates are investing in football, not just Reliance organizing the competition by itself. Its important for Indian football that the two biggest brands historically are there and competing with strong teams. What we are trying to do is to help Indian clubs and Spanish clubs build relationships. We are working in that direction. Atletico had the experience with ATK. LaLiga does not invest in the world, but we can help with our knowhow.”
Last season, Antonio Lopez Habas guided ATK to their third triumph in the ISL, becoming the first Spanish coach to lift the trophy twice. Cachaza used his example to highlight the influence of the Spanish coaches and indicated at potential future tie-ups between clubs from the two nations.
“Undeniable that Indian football has been looking towards Spanish football in the last few years. Even last champions of ISL had a Spanish coach, who had an influence in making teams champions. That’s the line of work I always had in my head the very minute I arrived in India.”
“Not easy. One thing is to hire a coach or player and a different story is to reach an agreement between two professional organizations. We are having some conversations between Atletico and some Spanish clubs, but I cannot say much more. They are at quite early stages, but there are things moving on there,” Cachaza concluded.