Indian Super League side North East United FC have appointed former Portugal national team coach Nelo Vingada as their new manager for the upcoming season.
Vingada was the manager of Portugal between 1993 and 1994, and later went on to coach top Asian national sides like Iran, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. The 63-year-old has also had coaching experience at club level as an assistant manager at Benfica in the 1997/98 season under renowned Scottish manager Graeme Souness.
— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) July 22, 2016
“The team looks forward to learning from his (Vingada’s) tremendous leadership skills and the strategic acumen,” NEUFC owner John Abraham was quoted as saying in an ISL press release. “His international experience makes him the most suitable coach to nurture and lead the team. Nelo has already proved himself as a winner and his attitude matches the vision we harbour for the club.”
NEUFC finished bottom of the ISL table in their first season and missed out on qualification for the semi-final playoffs in the second season of the tournament. Vingada said, on his appointment, that he would like to better the franchise’s results and guide them to the top four of the league.
“The club currently has talented players and I aim to train the team and bring a good balance between each player,” he said. “This season we hope to see better results for NEUFC. I think that I am a Coach who respects the man behind the player.”
Delhi Dynamos sign Indian trio
— Delhi Dynamos FC (@DelhiDynamos) July 27, 2016
The Lions have greatly strengthened their squad by signing Chinglensana Singh Konsham, Rupert Nongrum, and Arjun Tudu on Wednesday. This triple move by the Delhi Dynamos is set to strengthen the defence, midfield and attack for the club.
Both midfielder Rupert and defender Chinglensana are 19-year-olds who have been signed from Shillong Lajong. Meanwhile, Tudu is a Jamshedpur-born forward, who has been performing on a regular basis for Services for the last four years. The 25-year-old striker helped Services clinch the Santosh Trophy earlier this year by scoring a brace against hosts Maharashtra.
Mumbai City FC sign South American duo
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) July 27, 2016
Mumbai FC announced the signing of Uruguayan defender Walter Ibanez and Argentine forward Gaston Sangoy on Wednesday.
Sangoy is a well-travelled striker, who hails from the famous Boca Juniors youth academy in Argentina. The 31-year-old has represented top clubs from all around the world like Boca Juniors, Ajax, Sporting Gijon, and Apollon Limassol.
Joining Sangoy at the Mumbai franchise is centre-back Ibanez, who has won prestigious silverware in South America like the Peru Cup and the Chilean League. Interestingly, while Sangoy played for Boca Juniors, Ibanez represented their arch rivals River Plate in the past.
Indians to make it to the 2018 World Cup?
While the Indian national team is still attempting to represent the country at a football World Cup, two persons from the Indian football fraternity are very close to making it to the big stage. Referees Pranjal Banerjee from West Bengal and A Rawano from Delhi stand a chance of making it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika.
While the duo still have two more hurdles to clear, they are currently India’s best bet for representation at the tournament in two years’ time.
In order to qualify for the big event, both Banerjee and Rawano will have to prove their credentials by officiating at a youth World Cup. Unfortunately, only one of them will be selected for the World Cup.
Currently, Kamaleshwar Shankar is the only Indian referee to have officiated at the biggest stage in world football; he was selected for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
FC Pune City sign Bruno Arias, Andre Bikey
FC Pune City have announced the signing of Bruno Arias and Andre Bikey to strengthen their midfield and defence respectively, ahead of the upcoming ISL season.
— FC Pune City (@FCPuneCity) July 26, 2016
Arias is a product of the Sevilla youth system and has played for Spanish side Real Murcia, later going on to represent Buriram United, where he played a crucial part in helping the Thai Premier League side win the league and cup double in 2013.
— FC Pune City (@FCPuneCity) July 26, 2016
Meanwhile, Bikey is a versatile player who can operate both as a centre-back and as a holding midfielder. The 31-year-old Cameroonian defender has represented his national side at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and has also played for top European clubs like Espanyol, Lokomotiv Moscow, and Reading.
ISL, ATK officials to meet West Bengal sports minister over stadium availability
Atletico de Kolkata are worried about the availability of the Salt Lake Stadium for the 2016 edition of the ISL, and are set to meet West Bengal state sports minister Arup Biswasr regarding this matter on Thursday, according to a report in Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika.
The report also says that an ISL official will join the ATK delegation at the Writers’ Building, where they will meet Biswas. The Salt Lake Stadium is currently undergoing renovations for the U17 FIFA World Cup next year, and may not be ready in time for this season’s ISL.
However, freeing up the 68,000-seater stadium for the ISL may call for a bit of bureaucratic wrangling with the Indian Football Association (IFA), which is the apex football governing body in West Bengal. The IFA also want the stadium to host the much-anticipated Kolkata derby between giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the upcoming Calcutta Football League.
Both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal had to play their home games in last season’s I-League at the Barasat Stadium, which is situated on the outskirts of Kolkata. While the first Kolkata Derby of last season’s I-League was held at the Salt Lake Stadium, the venue for the second one was shifted to the Kanchenjunga Stadium, which is situated in Siliguri in the northern parts of the state.
Chennaiyin FC retain Manuele Blasi
Defending ISL champions Chennaiyin FC have managed to retain their star Italian midfielder Manuele Blasi for the third season of the franchise-based tournament.
The 35-year-old had a short stint at Lega Pro club Ischia after winning the ISL with the Super Machans last season. Blasi, who graduated from the AS Roma academy, has played for top Italian sides like Roma, Juventus, and Napoli.
— Chennaiyin FC (@ChennaiyinFC) July 27, 2016
As you probably heard by now, they were sold out in less than two minutes