Spanish Tiki-Taka flavour to rock Indian Super League
- Updated: October 19, 2020
Spanish Tiki-Taka flavour will be at the forefront in the upcoming seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISI) as seven of the eleven clubs have coaches from Iberian Peninsula at the helm of affairs.
Out of the eleven teams, seven clubs have coaches from Spain, while two are from England and the remaining are from Hungary and Scotland, for the upcoming season which will be held in Goa in November.
The coastal state will host matches at three different venues without spectators at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda; GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim; and Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco.
The ISI, whose earlier editions were played on home and away basis, was forced to be held at one single state on account of the Coronavirus pandemic which has spread its wings far and wide throughout the world including India.
Antonio Lopez Habas (ATKMB), Kibu Vicuna (Kerala Blasters),
Carles Cuadrat (Bengaluru FC), Sergio Lobera (Mumbai City FC),
Albert Roca (Hyderabad FC),Gerard Nus (Northeast United FC)
and Juan Ferrando (FC Goa) are the Spaniards who will carry forward the tiki-taka brand of football in Indian stadia.
The odd ones are Owen Coyle of Jamshedpur, who hails from Scotland while Stuart Baxter of Odisha FC is from England, Robbie Fowler of East Bengal is also from England and Csaba Laszlo of Chennaiyin FC is from Hungary
When the ISI league kicked in there were a number of Brazilian coaches and players but the influence of players from the South American country is slowly and steadily decreasing with Spaniards stamping their authority both in terms of players and coaches.
Last season too, Spanish coaches dominated in terms of numbers with Habas (ATK), Cuadrat (Bengaluru FC), Jorge Costa (Mumbai City FC), Josep Gombau (Odisha FC), Antonio Iriondo (Jamshedpur FC), and Lobera (FC Goa) guiding the fortunes of their respective teams.
Eelco Schattorie from The Netherlands (Kerala Blasters), Phil Brown from England (Hyderabad FC), Owen Coyle from Scotland (Chennaiyin) and Robert Jarni from Croatia (North East) were the other non-Spaniards in the ISI coaching group.
FC Goa is one club which has tried to maintain the continuity of the Spanish brand of football by appointing a Spaniard Lobera in place of fired Ferrando. Mumbai City FC has also appointed Lobera, who replaces his compatriot Costa.
ATK are the defending champions. They are the most successful team of this competition with three title wins in 2014, 2016, and, 2019-20 editions respectively.
The grand finale of the 2019-20 season was also played behind closed doors at Fatorda Stadium in March this year due to the global pandemic wherein ATK beat Chennaiyin FC 3-1 to win their record third title.
ATKMB, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters, Bengaluru FC, Mumbai City FC, Hyderabad FC, Northeast United FC- all Spanish
- Jamshedpur- Scotland
- Odisha FC- England
- Chennaiyin FC- Hungary
- East Bengal – England
- ATKMB- Antonio Lopez Habas (Spanish)
- Kerala Blasters- Kibu Vicuna (Spanish)
- Bengaluru FC- Carles Cuadrat (Spanish)
- Mumbai City FC- Sergio Lobera (Spanish)
- Hyderabad FC- Albert Roca (Spanish)
- FC Goa- Juan Ferrando (Spanish)
- Northeast United FC – Gerard Nus (Spain)
- Jamshedpur FC- Owen Coyle (Scotland)
- Odisha FC – Stuart Baxter (England)
- East Bengal – Robbie Fowler (England)
Chennaiyin FC – Csaba Laszlo (Hungary)