ISL 2019 | Indian football needs more academies, asserts Robert Pires

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ISL 2019 | Indian football needs more academies, asserts Robert Pires

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SportsCafe Desk

10/09/2018

Robert Pires has stated that it is time for Indian football to introduce more football academies in the country to nurture talent on a larger scale. He also suggested that the ISL should be establishing academies for the long term athletic development and exclusive training for the new generation.

Pires, who played won the World Cup in 1998, was a part of the first edition of the ISL when he represented Goa. Having seen the ISL grow from its infancy, the Arsenal legend has stated that it is time for Indian football to take the next step and set up academies across the country. With India producing some talented youngsters in the last few years, Pires is of the opinion that clubs should set up football academies in the country where players can get easy access to undergo specialized training rather than nurturing the young talent via exposure trips. 

“ISL has entered its fifth season but it needs more academies. If you look at La Liga, you will see how important the academies are when it comes to producing new talent. Academies play a major role and that is something India should understand,” Pires said in an interview with Goal.

Over the last two years, the ISL has expanded its roster to ten teams, moving away from the traditional eight, which has seen more youngsters get a chance to showcase their talent on the biggest stage of Indian football. The once ISL marquee player believes that the success of ISL will not be defined by big names but rather by signing a foreign player who has the motivation to play in India and also in the ISL. 

“When it comes to choosing foreign players for the ISL, the main thing to be considered is not age. It is actually the motivation of the player to play in the league. The calendar is much longer now and the teams should also look at the infrastructure to help their players excel in the competition,” he added. 

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