New Delhi: Foreigners are doing the bulk of scoring in the Indian Super League but according to Brazilian legend and F C Goa coach Zico, that does not make them better than their Indian counterparts, few of whom have left him quite impressed.
The 61-year-old, whose team is currently second from bottom after a mixed tournament so far, feels the ISL has thrown up some good Indian talent which has caught his eye.
"I really liked the Kerala Blasters player (Chinadorai) Sabeeth. I also liked Cavin Lobo, who scored two goals against us and Durga (Boro) of NorthEast United FC. It's a pity that we don't have Indian strikers in our team. All the strikers that we have like Tolgay, Miguel, Ranti and Miroslav are all foreign players," Zico said after Goa's thumping 4-1 triumph over Delhi Dynamos.
Lobo is the only Indian forward in the ISL's top-10 goal-scorers list with two strikes against his name.
Zico firmly believes that the Indian Super League would go a long way in helping the game in the country but he feels the event needs to join forces with I-League to ensure that local players exceed the number of foreigners currently on show.
"Each player has their own characteristics. I don't think that foreigners are scoring because they are better. Even the I-league, the Indian players don't score much," he said.
"The ISL has a great future. (I feel) the ISL and I-League can join forces then we will get to see more Indian players and less foreign players," he added.
Zico also wants the league to have a slightly more relaxed schedule so that players get enough time to recover.
"This tournament is a big success among the public and on television. So I really believe that it can help a lot in development of football. The first ISL is a learning experience and they can make improvements in the future.
"They can improve the format of the league, since in this format the matches are in a gap of 2-3 days and due to which the players get injured. So this can be improved in the next season," he said.