ISL: Who are the coaches who have won the Indian Super League?
Looking back at the coaches who have won the Indian Super League previously. The list contains four Spanish, one English and one Italian coach. Let's see who they are!
Is the Indian Super League dominated by Spanish coaches? In the past seven editions of the Indian Super League, it has happened four times that a Spanish coach has lifted the trophy. However, an Englishman and an Italian have bagged it too. In this article we'll have a look at the coaches who have won the ISL previously.
1. Antonio Lopez Habas (ATK: 2014, 2019/20)
Antonio Lopez Habas has bagged the ISL trophy twice, once in 2014 and the second time in 2019/20, both for ATK. In the years, his playing style has changed a lot. Back in 2014, he used to field four defenders at the back but later he shifted to three defenders. In 2014, ATK defeated Kerala Blasters FC, courtesy a late stealer from Mohammed Rafique. However, in 2019/20, his team won it comfortably (3-1) against Chennaiyin FC. He is currently the head coach at ATK Mohun Bagan and will be eyeing both the Trophy and the League Winners' Shield this time as his team missed both by a whisker last season.
2. Marco Materazzi (Chennaiyin FC: 2015)
The second edition of the Indian Super League saw Chennaiyin FC winning the trophy for the first time, courtesy of a fabulous late goal from Stiven Mendoza. The tactical genius behind the team was Marco Materazzi, the player-cum-manager of the side; Italian coaches were really rare in Indian football back then. His side finished third in the league and qualified for the playoffs. In the final they defeated FC Goa 3-2.
3. Jose Francisco Molina (ATK: 2016)
Jose Francisco Molina's guidance in 2016 helped ATK bag their second Indian Super League title in the third season. The team won the final in the tiebreaker against Kerala Blasters FC. Molina had been brought in ahead of the season after the team parted ways with their former head coach Antonio Lopez Habas. The new Spaniard didn't fail to fulfil the expectations of the management.
4. John Gregory (Chennaiyin FC: 2017/18)
The fourth edition of the Indian Super League saw Chennaiyin FC win their second title. Though the team managed to emerge victorious at the end of the campaign, their journey didn't start well that season. But slowly the team gained momentum and started performing. In the year 2018, Chennaiyin FC extended the coach's stay at the club. Under his guidance in 2017/18, the Marina Machans won 9 of their 18 league games, drew 5 and lost only 4. They finished second to table toppers Bengaluru FC whom they defeated 3-2 in the final.
5. Carles Cuadrat (Bengaluru FC: 2018/19)
The dream which remained unfulfilled under Albert Roca was fulfilled when the club brought in the former assistant to Roca (at Bengaluru FC), Carles Cuadrat as their head coach in 2018. Carles Cuadrat led the Bengaluru FC side to win the fifth edition of the Indian Super League. In the final they defeated FC Goa, thanks to Rahul Bheke who scored the solitary goal of the match. Bengaluru FC were the first club to break the dominance of ATK and Chennaiyin FC. Cuadrat served as the head coach for the club till January, 2021, when the club decided to part ways with the Spaniard.
6. Sergio Lobera (Mumbai City FC: 2020-21)
The seventh edition of the Indian Super League saw Mumbai City FC bagging both the ISL Trophy and the League Winners' Shield and dominating the entire league. Lobera had already shown his tactical genius in the previous season when he made FC Goa finish at the top of the table. Mumbai City FC, however, under Lobera's guidance won 12 of their 20 league games, drew 4 and lost 4. Their dominance in possession throughout the season was appreciable and their brand of football really amazed the Indian football vertical. In the final, they defeated ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1, with Bipin Singh scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute.
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