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Top 5 foreign managers who would be an instant hit in the ISL

Written by: Shivam Tiwari

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These five names could very well add to the cash-rich league's glamour and their teams would do quite well on the pitch too.

Known for becoming a country with a slow yet steady influx of money, India has become another hotspot for foreign coaches and managers to ply their trade in the last few years. The Indian Super League (ISL) sides now have the financial power to bring in the big names of the global footballing fraternity to the newly formed league, an aspect where the I-League is still lagging. Names as big as Diego Forlan, David Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero, Fedrick Ljungberg, Helder Postiga and many others have all plied their trade as players in the four-season long ISL so far.

These names don't seem to stop getting attracted towards the league after Kerala Blasters recent acquisitions of Wes Brown and Dimitar Berbatov, and ATK's signing of Robbie Keane. Not just players, there have been signings of some high-profile managers too. David James (twice with Kerala Blasters), Steve Coppell (two different clubs), Roberto Carlos and Zico and John Gregory- all have been bigwigs to manage a franchise in the ISL in the four seasons.

The league is set to be expanded further (considering the inclusion of more teams from I-League) if the proposed merger of the two top leagues takes place and so more big names are ought to join the coaching ranks of the franchises or the clubs. Khel Now takes a look at five such foreign coaches who could come to India and take the league by storm with their expertise.

5. Fernando Hierro

Hierro is currently not managing any team

Fernando Hierro, the former Real Madrid defender, is not a big name in the football managerial world. He has been at the helm of a club only once when he was the manager of Real Oviedo. The former Los Blancos captain was also assistant to Carlo Ancelotti in the 2014-15 season at Real Madrid.

Hierro did a commendable job in his first stint as a manager as he almost guided Real Oviedo to promotion to the top flight football for the first time in 16 years. The Spanish second division side missed out pon promotion by just two points. The former Real Madrid legend though was relieved from his duties soon after.

After having enjoyed success in the second division of the Spanish league, it would be just the right time for the former Spanish international to come to the ISL and take a franchise to glory, adding more credit to his managerial career.

4. Sven-Goran Eriksson

Now, Sven is a name that has been in Asian Football as a manager for the past four seasons. The former England and Mexico manager had three managerial terms in China's Chinese Super League (CSL) in the past four seasons in which he managed teams like Guangzhou R&F, Shanghai SIPG and Shenzhen FC.

The Csl is a league with almost similar culture as that of the ISL, but with more money and more quality players. Also, the CSL teams are the bigwigs of Asian Football and frequent contenders of Asian Champions League.

So being at the helm of such Asian teams and having the experience of managing some of the biggest clubs IN Europe would means Eriksson might not need much time to adapt to Indian Football and will easily get his franchise or club on top.

3. Michael Laudrup

Laudrup has been in charge of Premier League side Swansea City

If Eriksson has the experience of managing Asian clubs, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid player, Michael Laudrup, has the experience of plying his trade in Asian football as a player. Laudrup played for then second-tier Japanese club Vissel Kobe for a season before returning to European football with Dutch heavyweights Ajax.

Laudrup was very intelligent with the ball and the same could be said about him as a manager. A two-time Danish Manager of the Year winner, he led Swansea City to their first ever Football League Cup win in 2012-13, beating the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea in the process.

Apart from that, Laudrup has won league titles in Denmark and Qatar, further proving his credentials as a manager.


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2. Graham Arnold

Graham Arnold is another manager with loads of experience of Asian rfootball as the former Australia manager was the manager of J1 league side Vegalta Sendai in 2014. After spending few months with the Japanese side, Arnold returned to his homeland to take charge of Sydney FC.

Arnold has spent almost all his life in Australian football winning the A-League Premiership twice and the A-League Championship twice. Graham is also a two-time A-League Coach of the Year and a one-time A-League All-Star Team Manager.

After winning almost everything in Australia, it might just be the time Graham decides to look out for a new challenge by managing an ISL side.

1. Roberto di Matteo

Di Matteo won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea

The latest entrant on the list is UEFA Champions League winner in Roberto Di Matteo. While many say that it was unfortunate and hard on Di Matteo to get sacked by Chelsea in just eight months despite delivering the club its first ever Champions League title, he never could do anything worthwhile thereafter.

In his subdequent assignments, he was either was sacked by the club or resigned from his position on his own. No matter what happened, by winning the Champions League title Di Matteo displayed to one and all that he has what it takes to be the manager of a big club,

With that said, the Italian still needs to prove his critics wrong and winning a league title or maybe winning the AFC Cup or even an AFC Champions League title with an ISL side ca be just what he needs. Also, him coming to India would mean the ISL continues to bring the biggest names from the football world to the nation.

Published: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:54 AM IST

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