Millennium Post

‘More Indians should play in 1st XI’

‘More Indians should play in 1st XI’
Brazilian legend and FC Goa head coach Zico on Friday said more Indians should have been allowed in the playing eleven than the five permissible currently in the Indian Super League, saying that it would have given more exposure to the domestic players.

‘I think playing too many foreigners in the ISL is not good as it will not help much in the development of Indian football. It will not give more exposure to Indian players to play alongside the foreigners,’ Zico told reporters ahead of his side’s match against Delhi Dynamos here on Saturday.

‘I think the difference with Japan was that they did not bring in more foreign players which helped them to develop their talent,’ said Zico, who played for Kashima Antlers (1991-94) in the formative years of J-League and also coached the Japanese side later on.

FC Goa have so far played four matches without a win but Zico was not the one to express surprise and said that in football loosing or winning was part of the game.

‘It never surprises me. We lost some games but we can also win and move on. We created some good opportunities and had chances but did not manage to convert them, even though we played well. This is the magic about football. Sometimes a team plays very well but does not manage to score, while the other team comes and scores. But then, that’s how football is. It’s all about football,’ he said.

Asked about any injury update of his team, Zico said, ‘We never think it’s only 11 players, we have a group of 27 players. All 27 players are ready to play. Some are injured but the others are fit and ready to play. Players have been picked for the team because they are good and they re prepared to play. So I am not too worried about that. I told my boys they have to be prepared to play at any time, in any situation. We will play 11 against 11,’ said Zico.

Asked about the reduction of ban on Atletico de Kolkata head coach Antonio Lopez Habas from four to two matches by the AIFF Disciplinary Committee after an appeal, he said, ‘Congratulations to their lawyers’. Habas and FC Goa player Robert Pires were reportedly involved in an altercation in the tunnel when the two teams left for the half-time break in the ATK vs FC Goa match at Margao on October 23. Later, Zico alleged that Pires was punched by Habas during the altercation.
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