Ian Rush’s insights on ISL superstars

Ian Rush
Ian Rush at the D Y Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai.

As Liverpool’s leading goal-scorer with 346 goals in all competitions, Ian Rush sure knows a thing or two about scoring and football in general. No wonder, the elegant Welsh striker is renowned the world over for his opinions and footballing knowledge. The 53-year-old Rush was in the maximum city as a guest of Mumbai City FC and was utterly delighted with the quality of football that he witnessed in the Hero Indian Super League.

What pleased him further was the fact some of the “big” international stars featuring in the league have been shining on this glittering football stage.  Indiansuperleague.com caught up with the former European Golden Boot winner for his analysis on the top international stars on show and here’s what Rush had to say:

Nicolas Anelka: You just have to look at his goals to know what he is all about! The best thing about Nicolas is that he has the experience of playing in virtually every part of the world. He is a quality player and one never loses that quality. What I like about him is that he wants to do well for whoever he plays for. He has speed and tremendous control. Sometimes, nobody spots the runs he makes during a game and nobody picks up the little ball that he plays looking elsewhere.

Alessandro Del Piero:  I know him from my Italy days (Rush played for Juventus from 1987-1988). He is a dead ball specialist and is terrific from set-pieces. He obviously looks for someone in the midfield to feed him the ball so that he can influence the game. Delhi Dynamos FC are very lucky to have him because he has played in a World Cup final and is a match winner. He knows what is expected of him. I am sure the youngsters in the team will benefit immensely from him because he likes to pass on his knowledge.

Luis García: I played with him about eight months ago in Anfield (smiles) and he is someone who just loves the game of football. His best quality is that he will score important goals. He is not the one to score when you are 4-0 up. He scores match winning goals. He is done it before for Liverpool and I am sure that he can do it in the ISL. He gets into these little pockets of space and is very difficult to mark. To top it all off, he has an excellent footballing brain.

David Trezeguet: He is a world class striker and we all know about his performances for Juventus. He has scored two in this tournament already and those two were quality strikes! He is an out and out striker and is quite similar to me in some respects. You have to supply him the ball and he will score the goals. It is as simple as that. For a budding striker, he is someone to look up to because he is clinical in front of goal.

Robert Pirès: The ex-Arsenal lad is such a hard worker. He is enormously gifted and even at this age he goes up and down the pitch and sometimes his hard work goes unnoticed. He is another one who can score vital goals and is an example for all the younger players. His teammates must be looking at him and going: ‘Hang on! If he can do it at this age, so can I!’ He can play in the middle or on the right and keeps the game ticking over. He is an important player for FC Goa in my opinion.

Elano: The Brazilian is, excuse me for using the term again (smiles), pure quality! He can dribble past people, he can run the show in the midfield, he has a fearsome right foot and he is deadly with his free kicks. Manchester City bought him for this very reason and anyone who plays for the Brazilian national team has some serious skill (laughs). He is another one whom the youngsters can learn from and the way he has been going about in the ISL is frightening for all the defenders and goalkeepers.

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