Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalic stated that too many foreigners in the Indian domestic leagues are hampering the growth of football in the country. The 53-year old stressed on the importance of a solid grassroots coaching system for production of top quality players from the nation.
The Croat manager, who guided the nation to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup final, was involved in an interactive session organized by the Sports Authority of India and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) where he shared his coaching experiences for half an hour. It was then he claimed that the Indian leagues involve too many foreign players, which is affecting the development of the local players.
“I see too many foreigners in Indian local leagues, there should be less foreigners in Indian local leagues because it hampers the development of local players. It is difficult to build a solid base of local talent if too many foreigners play in the domestic leagues,” said Dalic as reported by Scroll.in.
Croatia has constantly produced world-class players in the last decade, including 2018 World Cup ‘Golden Ball’ and Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric along with players like Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic. He believes that the country’s efficient grassroots coaching system has been one of the main reasons that have given them quality players over the years.
“We have good coaches in our football system who have been there from the grassroots level. That is what has enabled players like Modric, Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic to break through,” added Dalic.