Tiri: Indian ISL teams are settling down to a system

The Jamshedpur FC centre-back believes the ISL has substantially improved the standard of football in India.

Tiri has been playing for Jamshedpur FC since 2017. Photo: Twitter (@Tiri1991)

Making the Indian Super League the top league in the country is a good decision as the League has substantially improved the standard of football in India, said José Luis Espinosa (Tiri), one of the longest-playing foreigners in the country’s premier football event.

Tiri lifted the title with ATK in 2016 after having made his ISL debut a year ago with the same side. The Spanish centre-back was one of the main acquisitions of Jamshedpur FC, which started its ISL journey in 2017. He has made the steel city his home since then and has become one of the most popular faces of the side as the captain would leads by example.

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“The level of the League is going up as one can see and there are a lot of foreigners who want to come here and play because they think it is an attractive tournament to play,” Tiri said in an interaction with Sportstar. “It is clearly evident that the league is settling down to a system where the foreign coaches are helping the teams develop their game technically. This is also a fact that most of the teams are showing the knack for keeping the ball on the ground,” he added.

'Not missing much'

Having spent a considerable time with the 'B' team of the Spanish giant Atletico Madrid, Tiri says the huge popularity of football in India is also a factor that will help the sport grow. “As a professional footballer I am not missing much after coming here from Spain when I see thousands of supporters in the stands cheering. This is really a good sign for football in India,” Tiri said, looking back on his experiences with ATK and Jamshedpur FC.

When asked about the Indian players who have impressed him the most, Tiri made an interesting choice. “Brandon [Fernandes] from FC Goa is an intelligent midfielder, Sunil Chhetri who is truly the Indian captain, centre-back Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters) and the hard working winger Jerry (Mawihmingthanga), are the names coming to my mind immediately,” he said.

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