The ISL has established itself as a great source of entertainment for audiences in India; a springboard for young talent to catapult themselves among the big names of football. With Internationally renowned players taking to the pitch every edition, the ISL has taken its place as an important event in the Indian footballing calendar.
This edition aims to be no different. Kerala Blasters appointed Rene Meulensteen, the famed assistant manager of Sir Alex Ferguson from 2007-2013 as their manager for the next edition.
The ex-Manchester United man was quick to act, as he brought in two other accomplices to accompany him in ‘Gods own country’.
Dimitar Berbatov spent 4 seasons at Manchester United. He was influential in winning their record 19th Premier League title, ingratiating himself to the Old Trafford faithful. With such vast experience and credentials, he is easily one of the most celebrated players to play in the ISL.
Wes Brown will be joining the Bulgarian in Kerala. The Manchester born lad eats, sleeps and breathes Manchester United, such is his adoration for the club. He brings with him the experience of having played football at the top level for the entirety of his career. Having amassed 14 titles during his playing career, he advocates humility and perseverance; qualities which the youngsters can definitely learn from.
But looking at this from a broader perspective, this is a huge step in the right direction for Indian football. Football, as a sport has taken massive strides in India of late; with the national team improving their FIFA ranking every time they set foot on the football pitch.
India has seen a huge rise in the number of premier competitions since the inclusion of IPL, and if IPL’s success is testament; we might be looking at a huge influx of quality and infrastructure into Indian football.
We might be a long way off for when it comes to competing with European countries and some of our Asian compatriots; but Rome was not built in a day.
The Great Wall of China, an engineering marvel did not just drop down from outer space. It was laid, brick by brick to form the magnificence it exuberates today.
The ISL enters its fourth edition as it kicks off this October. It has delivered breathtaking football and some close finishes in the past; expect the next season to be even more exciting and challenging!
It may well take over 50 years for India to finally compete with other countries with equal footing, but it’ll be worth the wait.