Kerala Blasters, a club from the Indian Super League, have managed to romp in former Manchester United and Netherlands coach Rene Meulensteen as their new head coach for the new campaign this year.
This can be considered as a huge step for a franchise from the ISL, as they have successfully attracted a coach from the best leagues around the world to train their ingrown talent.
The 53-year-old will be replacing Steve Coppell, who led the club to their second finals in the three years of the tournament. Coppell will move on to become the head coach of Jamshedpur FC, a Tata Steel owned club.
Meulensteen is widely known for his wide experience of 27 years of coaching across Europe. His greatest achievement could probably be his 11 years as coach at Manchester United, under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, albeit in multiple roles during his tenure at the club.
— Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) July 14, 2017
The Dutchman was the youth coach at Manchester United from 2001 till 2006, and the reserve team coach for one 2005-06 season. Soon after, he left to spend 6 months at Brondby, a Danish club, before returning to United as a technical skills development coach.
However, Meulensteen soon replaced Mike Phelan as the new first team coach, as the latter moved on to become the assistant manager.
This effectively means Rene has worked with world-class players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and Ryan Giggs, among several others.
It was during his time as the first team coach that the club went on to win three Premier League trophies and one infamous Champions League crown in Moscow.
It only goes to show that the Indian Super League means business, and its clubs are willing to attract good talent, both in terms of marquee players and coaching staff, to ensure that the local players learn and train under the best.
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran
Sports writer with a long experience of writing in football.Was football team head at EssentiallySports. Still deeply misses Sir Alex and Berbatov at United. An introvert at heart with a poetic hand. Engineer by choice, writer by passion.