Lothar Matthaus outlines path for success for Indian football
Lothar Matthaus believes that Indian football is on the right track, owing to the quality of players and coaches in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL).
The German football legend, who is currently on a three-day India visit as part of the Bundesliga legends tour, was in attendance for the match between Kerala Blasters FC and Jamshedpur FC on Tuesday in Kochi. Matthaus will also attend Thursday’s tie between Mumbai City FC and defending champions Chennaiyin FC.
.@LMatthaeus10 is in attendance in Kochi to witness his first #HeroISL match and shared some words of encouragement for the home team @KeralaBlasters!— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 4, 2018
Hear this out 👂!#LetsFootball #FanBannaPadega pic.twitter.com/l0BbzKfyVB
At a news conference held in Mumbai on Wednesday, the former World Cup winning captain answered questions from the media on a variety of topics including the Hero ISL and the growth of Indian football.
Impact of experience
After observing the match between Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur, Matthaus seemed heavily impressed with the quality of players on show. He also weighed in on the kind of impact the more experienced foreign players such as Tim Cahill can have on the young talent. “I saw very good players. I saw not only the foreign players but also some Indian players. Young players who are the future and I was talking to some of the players. They are very professional. They can learn from the foreigners. I was talking with the Australian (Tim Cahill). He’s here not only to play football but also to help the young players in the dressing room, during the training. He would like to help them, he’ll like to support them. And that’s the job of the foreigners to come here to help, and support the Indian football make the next step,” he remarked.
India’s chances at the AFC Asian Cup
With the AFC Asian Cup 2019 just around the corner, all the attention will turn to the Indian national team as they prepare to embark on a historic journey. The former Bayern Munich legend shared his thoughts on India’s chances saying, “I think they have to play with goal of going to the next round. You have the quality in the team to make a strong competition against Bahrain and Iran. But you cannot change from one day to another the result of Indian football.”
He continued on the same note, citing the importance of the Hero ISL on the national team, “I think you have a good organized championship. You have good foreign players and good coaches from which the Indian football can profit from the experience. And maybe in 8-10 years, you can think about the World Cup qualification. I think you have a really good chance with the way you are going in the last four years.”
Earlier, Matthaus also took the time to interact with the youngsters at the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) city championship 2018-19 finals held in Kochi on Tuesday.
.@LMatthaeus10 knows it all about playing in big finals and at famous football arenas, but the @Bundesliga_DE legend got nostalgic during the— RF Youth Sports (@RFYouthSports) December 5, 2018
RFYS Kochi City Championship Final 👇🏻#LetsPlay pic.twitter.com/CswIgWf0Ei