New Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI) Delhi Dynamos Football Club today unveiled Spaniard Miguel Angel Portugal as their head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League season with high ambitions of winning the trophy this time.
The 61-year-old Miguel, an ex-Real Madrid midfielder, took over the reigns of the Capital’s football team from Italian Legend Gianluca Zambrotta under whom Delhi Dynamos managed to make it to the semi-finals last season.
Miguel, who was a part of the La Liga winning Real Madrid side of 1979-80, signed a one-year contract with Delhi Dynamos but club officials said his contract can be extended if the results are satisfactory.
“Being a part of Delhi Dynamos FC is a great opportunity to be a part of the growing football revolution that is taking shape in the country. I want to win this championship (ISL),” Miguel said at a media conference here.
“My brand of football will be possession football, possession as long as possible but it will be smart and intelligent possession,” he said through an interpreter.
Miguel’s roping in as head coach was facilitated by Doha-based Aspire Academy, with which Delhi Dynamos last month signed a groundbreaking multi-year technical partnership.
The Doha-based Aspire Academy, one of the world-renowned facilities, will share its football knowhow and management expertise (including coaching, training, scouting and sports science) with the Delhi-based club in their pursuit for success on the pitch.
Miguel embarked on his coaching career in 1996 with Spanish third division side Arandina. In a relatively short period of time, his coaching abilities were widely noticed and the very next year he was appointed to manage the Real Madrid C team before subsequently assuming responsibility for the Real Madrid B team.
Under him, both the Real Madrid B and C teams managed top three finishes in their respective divisions. He later served as a technical director of the Real Madrid senior side.
Prior to joining Delhi Dynamos Football Club, Miguel was coach of the Algerian premier league club CS Constantinois.
Miguel said when he was in Algeria, the ISL was always a point of discussion. He also said that he had seen Delhi Dynamos games and other ISL matches on video.
“It was not a difficult decision for me to sign up to play my part in shaping the club’s future success,” said Miguel.
Founded in 2014, Delhi Dynamos team was wholly owned and operated by Delhi-based DEN Networks for three seasons till last year. The club’s majority ownership is now with United States-based company GMS Inc, while DEN Networks hold a minority stake.
The club failed to reach the semi-finals in the inaugural season of the ISL in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, they qualified for the semi-finals but failed to make it to the summit clash.
“Miguel’s success during his career with Real Madrid as both player and coach is clear proof of his quality and his knowledge of the game. This is a new season for Delhi Dynamos with a new team and it was extremely critical for us to have someone like Miguel at the helm,” said Rohan Sharma, Director Delhi Dynamos.
“We will be a club which will be focusing on youth development so that we can have our own home-grown players from our academy to play in the first eleven after a few years,” he added.
Delhi Dynamos CEO Ashish Shah said the club will review all options and examine a range of opportunities during the transfer window to build on the team from last season.
“In the next few days, we are finalising our plan about the squad and pre-season training programme,” Ashish said.
The team will for sure have a training stint at the state-of-the-art Aspire Academy in the pre-season.
Besides age group teams, Delhi Dynamos will have a women’s team in future. It also has plans to establish a full-fledged world class football academy in the Capital.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.