The Spaniard is one of the most travelled managers in the ISL and will be looking to take the Lions a step further than last season…
Delhi Dynamos FC organised a media interaction with new manager Miguel Angel Portugal at New Delhi on Monday. The Spanish gaffer has been signed to overlook the proceedings for Indian Super League (ISL) next season at the club which played some brilliant attacking football under World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta last season.
Alongside the man himself, Ashish Shah, CEO – Delhi Dynamos FC, Anil Sharma – President and CEO, GMS, Ivan Bravo, Director General, Aspire Academy and Rohan Sharma, Director, Delhi Dynamos FC were also present on the occasion. In a free-wheeling conversation, the 61-year-old opened up on various aspects of the upcoming season.
The Spaniard stated that he was delighted to be joining the capital outfit at a time of rapid transformation in Indian football and that he would be looking to win the title with the Lions in the upcoming ISL campaign. The team has made it to the playoffs on the last two seasons of the cash-rich league.
Speaking at his first ever media-session in India Portugal said, “I am looking forward to joining the ISL in India. Being involved with Delhi Dynamos FC is a great opportunity to be a part of the growing football revolution that is taking shape in the country. When I was in Algeria, the ISL was always a point of discussion. During meetings with my team, I saw a few of the Delhi Dynamos FC games on video and I was impressed with the players’ attacking football. The club truly plays like a lion and it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to sign up to play my part in shaping the club’s future success.”
“We are very excited to welcome Miguel Angel Portugal as the head coach of our club. We are convinced that he’s the right fit for the club – an individual who is highly regarded on account of his understanding of the game, both as a player and also as coach. His success during his career with Real Madrid as both a player and coach is clear proof of his quality and his knowledge of the game. This is a new season for us with a new team and it was extremely critical for us to have someone like Miguel at the helm,” added Sharma.
Interestingly, the Dynamos have decided not to retain any players ahead of the new season and Portugal explained that the reason for doing so was because he wanted to start with a clean slate. He also emphasized that he was looking to assemble a balanced squad with options in all areas. He pointed out that the squad will be rotated over the course of a long season and everyone will get their opportunities to impress.
“We are in constant discussion with Miguel over building the very best team here at the club. A key part of that is the decision to review all our options and examine a range of opportunities during the transfer window to build on the team from last season,” explained Shah.
In a managerial career spanning over two decades the tactician has coached in countries such as Bolivia, Algeria, Brazil and Spain. He has served as the technical secretary for Real Madrid for 2 years and is the first ever Spaniard to coach in 1st Division in Brazil, when he took charge of Atlético Paranaense. Under his management, Spanish outfit, Racing Santander finished in the semifinals of the Copa Del Rey in 2009, the club’s best finish in the domestic club competition of Spain.
As a player Portugal was part of Real Madrid’s double winning campaign in 1979-1980, helping the side win both the La Liga and the Copa Del Rey. In a playing career spanning over a decade and a half he also turned out for clubs like Rayo Vallacano, Valladolid and Cordoba amongst others.
The tactician who only speaks English is set to be assisted by a translator during team training and on matchdays throughout the season.