New Delhi, 17 July 2017. Delhi Dynamos Football Club – the only club representing Northern India in the Hero Indian Super League (HERO ISL) –introduced their new Head Coach, Miguel Angel Portugal, at a gala ceremony in the National Capital today. The ex-Real Madrid midfielder assumes responsibility for managing the club from Italian Legend Gianluca Zambrotta under whom Delhi Dynamos FC managed to make it to the semi-final last season.
The news follows a groundbreaking technical partnership that was signed last month with Doha-based Aspire Academy, which will see the world-renowned academy share its football knowhow and management expertise (including coaching, training, scouting and sports science) with the Delhi-based club in their pursuit of success on the pitch. In an early sign of the impact and benefit created by this partnership, Aspire Academy played a crucial role in the search for Mr. Portugal.
Miguel embarked on his coaching career in 1996 with Spanish third division side, Arandina. Though with the club for a relatively short period of time, his coaching abilities were widely noticed and the very next year he was appointed to manage the Real Madrid C team before subsequently assuming responsibility for the Real Madrid B team. Under his leadership, both the Real Madrid B & C teams managed top three finishes in their respective divisions – a long-standing goal for the club. He also worked with Racing Santander, and also served as a technical director of the Real Madrid senior team. Prior to joining Delhi Dynamos Football Club, Portugal was coach of the Algerian premier league club CS Constantinois.
Speaking at his first ever media-session in India, Mr. Portugal said, “I am looking forward to joining the ISL in India. Being involved with Delhi Dynamos FC is a great opportunity to be a part of the growing football revolution that is taking shape in the country. When I was in Algeria, the ISL was always a point of discussion. During meetings with my team, I saw a few of the Delhi Dynamos FC games on video and I was impressed with the players’ attacking football. The club truly plays like a lion and it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to sign up to play my part in shaping the club’s future success.”
Miguel Angel Portugal, 61, a Spanish national, has played for many renowned clubs in Spain, including Real Madrid, Valladoid and Rayo Vallecano to name but a few. His illustrious playing career spanned a little over a decade and a half. Portugal was also a part of the Real Madrid team that won the double in 1979 and has been an integral part of the club’s ecosystem since then. Portugal was also a part of the Spanish U23 and amateur national teams in 1979.
“We are very excited to welcome Miguel Angel Portugal as the head coach of our club. As our technical partner, Aspire Academy played a critical role in helping us pinpoint Miguel as the right fit for the club – an individual who is highly regarded on account of his understanding of the game, both as a player and also as coach. His success during his career with Real Madrid as both a player and coach is clear proof of his quality and his knowledge of the game. This is a new season for the Delhi Dynamos FC with a new team and it was extremely critical for us to have someone like Miguel at the helm,” said Mr. Rohan Sharma, Director, Delhi Dynamos FC.
Mr. Ashish Shah, CEO, Delhi Dynamos FC further added: “We are in constant discussion with Miguel over building the very best team here at the club. A key part of that is the decision to review all our options and examine a range of opportunities during the transfer window to build on the team from last season.”
Commenting on news, Aspire Academy Director General Ivan Bravo said: “Today’s news is evidence of our commitment to help Delhi Dynamos fulfil its true potential and truly make its mark on Indian football. I have known Miguel for a very long time. He is an excellent coach and credit to the game, and I’m convinced he will have a real impact on the club. I’m delighted with how quickly and effectively we are implementing the groundbreaking technical partnership that we signed just a few weeks ago and looking forward to future success.”
Delhi Dynamos F.C (DDFC), founded in 2014, is the club of the capital city of India that plays in the Indian Super League (ISL). As the only ISL club in Northern India, Delhi Dynamos FC has a catchment area of over 300 million people, which is the largest for any IPL team. It is also one of the more consistent teams in the ISL, having qualified for the league Semi-Finals in both of the last two seasons. It also won the Fair Play Award in the ISL’s first season.