Hero Indian Super League
#1
Wondered if anyone has been following the start of the new Hero Indian Super League?

I must say I do have some personal interest in the league being of Indian ethnicity, but on the whole it's rather interesting to see the dawn of a new league for a nation, that like China, has huge potential to make a massive impact in football, but until now hasn't done so.

Firstly, I want to say that Indian football has been and is a mess. Simply put, the infrastructure's been a total mess, while young talented players produced in the nation have generally been picked up by foreign sides (usually to try and gain access to the Indian market) only to fail as they're not ready for a more competitive league/environment.

What's interesting about the Super League is that it appears to be attempting to put a decent infrastructure in place and is using methods from the USA and Japan, as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, which has been a massive success and is the biggest cricket competition in the world today.

Around 8 clubs throughout India have been set up. Taking cues from the J-League and NASL, the clubs have all signed marquee players to help raise their profile. We're talking about the likes David James (who's a player manager), Del Piero, Anelka, Pires, Trezeguet and Capdavilla. In terms of coaches, we're talking about Peter Reid, David James, Zico and Franco Colomba being involved. Personally, I'm interested in seeing so many different football cultures and schools of thought coming together in one league.

In terms of infrastructure, the interesting thing about the league is that it's got ties and partnerships with other successful leagues and clubs. For example, there is a partnership with the Premiership (which is huge in India) and Fiorentina has a partnership with a club from Pune.

Taking cues from the massively successful cricket tournament IPL (which is actually why the ISL has struggled to take off sooner), most of the clubs (which I think follow the American franchise model) are backed by big companies and/or extremely wealthy celebrity figures.

Some of those involved include former cricketers Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar (2 of India's greatest sportsmen) and famous actors like Salman Khan, John Abraham and Abhishek Bachan. While these names aren't well known outside of India or oversees Indian communities, that's comparable to the likes of Michael Jordan and Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt being involved in the sporting ownership. They are names that will garner interest in the tournament and give it some credibility in terms of backing, whilst they will surely attract interest from people and the media who may not necessarily follow the sport, but do follow these individuals.

What it comes down to is this may be a massive moment in the future of Indian football. They are following on from successes of the IPL, which has effectively changed cricket as a sport and while this isn't likely to change the football landscape, it is an exciting time for football in the country and could lay the groundwork for the future.

It kind of reminds me of the advent of the J-League back in the early 90's (1993 if I'm right), which changed football in Japan forever, with the likes of Kazi Miura and Hide Nakata being developed and exported to Italy (the biggest league back then) and then Japan qualifying for their first World Cup in 1998. Now Japan is the top footballing nation in Asia (arguably being the fastest growing football nation in the world).

For India, this could provide the professionalism, revenue, interest and infrastructure to follow a similar path towards growing as a football nation. Obviously, the first step is if the league takes off, then resources must be used towards developing talents in the nation and laying the grass roots, which until now has never been the case.

From there, who knows, we might be talking about Indian players moving to Milan and India attending their first World Cup (they previously qualified in 1950, but weren't involved in the tournament).

Personally I'm excited and interested in seeing this and was wondering if others have heard about it and have any interest?
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#2
lol, not much interest then?
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#3
LOL, Dev. Icon_lol2

What about Vikash Dhorasoo? I thought that he has Indian parents, but how come Wiki says that he is of Mauritian origin? Do you know?
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#4
I really don't know enough about it to be able to make an informed opinion. I did hear about it on a podcast or two but have not taken the time to go research it. If the excitement around the league can get kids playing football like they play cricket then I would say that's a job well done.

P.S. Brian Lara >>>>Tendulkar Grinundwech
Siamo a posto cosi.
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#5
(09-12-2014, 02:36 PM)xudong Wrote: LOL, Dev. Icon_lol2

What about Vikash Dhorasoo? I thought that he has Indian parents, but how come Wiki says that he is of Mauritian origin? Do you know?

About Dhorasoo, if I'm right he was born in France, his parents are from Mauritius and they are all of Indian ethnic origin. Technically you could say he's the first Indian to have played for Milan, but it's a fairly tenuous link when you consider he considered himself French.

To be honest we never really got to see the best of him, but I always was a fan of him.

(09-12-2014, 03:05 PM)Mystik Wrote: I really don't know enough about it to be able to make an informed opinion. I did hear about it on a podcast or two but have not taken the time to go research it. If the excitement around the league can get kids playing football like they play cricket then I would say that's a job well done.

P.S. Brian Lara >>>>Tendulkar Grinundwech

Interest in football is quite big in India, but it gets trumped by cricket as pretty much any sports. It would be interesting if they can get enthusiasm around the sport in the country and I don't know if any of you have seen the IPL, but if they can get anywhere near the atmosphere as they do in that, then it really will be great and a lot of fun.

I'm really interested in seeing football growing in these developing nations. China's grown, but it feels very concentrated to certain teams, Japan's a great model imo, while the MLS is getting to the point of not just being credible, but actually being an excellent league.

About Lara and Tendulkar, I'm not the biggest cricket fan, but I've got to say I have always loved to watch Tendulkar because few players have the range and ability of shots that he's shown, so I can't say I agree Big Grin . Gayle's a particularly favourite these days though, for very different reasons lol. Personally I'm a big fan of Dhoni, another excellent batsman who's always amazed me.
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#6
Chinese are crazy about football, but with all the money involved, all the efforts made, all the resources wasted, somehow we just can't find 11 good enough men to play that damn ball.

China will still beat India at current stage, I suppose? :d
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#7
(09-12-2014, 04:58 PM)xudong Wrote: Chinese are crazy about football, but with all the money involved, all the efforts made, all the resources wasted, somehow we just can't find 11 good enough men to play that damn ball.

China will still beat India at current stage, I suppose? :d

China would beat India without question.

About Chinese football I think it's worth looking up an American coach/youth system coordinator called Tom Byer. He's played a good role in Japan's growth and for a couple of years has been working in China.

In a recent podcast ultimately he said Chinese football focuses too much on trying to define a style of football and pouring resources in getting more coaches rather than focusing on developing the basic technical skills of youngsters. He said similar things about the USA
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#8
No use. That will probably remain a mystery. China can get many gold medals in Olympics Games, but when it comes to football, it is just a big pile of shit, no matter what.

I am already used to it. Icon_lol2
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#9
(09-12-2014, 08:19 PM)xudong Wrote: No use. That will probably remain a mystery. China can get many gold medals in Olympics Games, but when it comes to football, it is just a big pile of shit, no matter what.

I am already used to it. Icon_lol2

I think that's related to football being a very unique sport that requires different skill sets than most Olympic sports.

I think China can become a major force in football, but from what I can see a mental shift is required in developing young players and putting resources towards putting the right infrastructure in place.

In India, to get back to the original topic, the infrastructure and resources simply haven't been there to develop anything of note, hence it's such a poor country when it comes to football. It needs money at grass roots level, but for that to come there needs to be an interest in the sport and getting people playing it.

There are valid questions about how the ISL will impact football in the nation, in whether it's just a distraction for a couple of months of the year or whether it will lead towards money being brought into the sport and interest raised.

I hope the latter and with the names being associated there is real hope that we'll see a spike in interest in the country, although that interest needs to be sustained. Right now, when it comes to mindshare of football in India, the largest interest is in the Premiership and then some other overseas nations (Serie A included). The domestic game is barely known as far as I've seen and there's only interest in the sport in certain states (e.g. Bengal is known for it's football culture, while in Gujarat it's pretty much nothing is known outside of kicking a ball).

If the ISL leads to greater interest across the country and support for the I-League (the season long professional league of India), then all the better, otherwise I see this ISL taking over.

Materazzi's the latest name to sign to the ISL, signing as player coach for Chennai team. Again, an ageing star, but one with great success in his career and has won everything.
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#10
Materazzi's speaking ahead of the start of the ISL:

http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-...nt?ICID=OP

It's nice to see those who are involved appear to be showing active interest. Obviously I'm no fan of Materazzi from his years with Inter, but it's difficult to argue that he won't help raise the profile and quality of the ISL.

However, what disappointed me was I had a quick look at the comments to see how interested people are and this is what I saw:

"Matrix will break the lets of those s h i t t y indians lol"
"After curry, your smell gonna be so offensive people wanna headbutt you on the chest."

Now I'm not expecting anything much more from goal.com and the Internet in general, but honestly why hate when there's nothing there to hate on?
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