Zambrotta: 'I'm not nervous'

Ahead of his managerial debut in the Indian Super League, Delhi Dynamos new head coach Gianluca Zambrotta spoke to Sportstar about what he expects from his team in the new season.

Delhi Dynamos manager Gianluca Zambrotta will make his ISL debut against Chennaiyin FC.   -  R. Ravindran

With five Serie A titles and a World Cup to his name, Gianluca Zambrotta has had his fair share of success as a player. Still in the nascent stages of his managerial career, the former Juventus and AC Milan full-back is relishing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with some of the more experienced names in the business, and is confident of coming out on top with Delhi Dynamos.

What have you made of India so far?

I had heard of it before of course, mostly because of Gandhi but also from whatever Alessandro del Piero and Marco Materazzi told me. I was managing in Switzerland at the time but when I heard of this opportunity, I decided to give it a shot and I am really happy that I did.

You are the least experienced of all the managers in the ISL. Does that make you feel nervous or apprehensive in any way?

No, I don’t feel nervous about this. The only nerves I feel are just before the beginning of a game, which is normal. I am ambitious. I believe in my team and I am sure they will give it their best shot.

Delhi Dynamos failed to keep a clean sheet in pre-season. Will you be focussing more on the defence?

I am working on a basic concept with the team that all of them have to be compact at all times. We should have 11 defenders while defending and 11 attackers when we go on the offensive. We have been working hard from day one and we just have to stick to the plan. The results will follow and these results will be the proof that our hard work has paid off.

You appointed your former teammate Simone Barone as your assistant. What does he bring to the table?

I was a defender in my playing days so I can handle the defence and instruct them. Simone was a really good midfielder so he helps me train the midfielders and forwards. In that way, we complement each other well.

Giampiero Ventura succeeded Antonio Conte as manager of the Italy national team. He had a successful tenure at Torino before that. Do you think he can replicate that success with Italy?

Giampiero Ventura is a very good coach and he has a lot of experience. I am sure he will do very well with the national team and I wish him all the best.

Antonio Conte was your teammate at Juventus. What inputs have you taken from him? Do you think he is a good fit for Chelsea?

I know him very well from my time at Juventus, he was my captain. He was a very good player and has now become a very good coach. I think he needs a little bit more time to succeed in the Premier League but he has all the knowledge required to do just that with Chelsea.

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