Gokulam Kerala FC head coach, Vincenzo Alberto Annese has taken a dig at the Indian national team coach, Igor Stimac following his side's 4-2 win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the opening game of the AFC Cup 2022 on Wednesday, 18 May.
Gokulam Kerala came into the clash on the back of creating history by becoming the first club to win consecutive I-League titles in the competitions history and have showed that winning does not depend on having a high budget.
The lack of I-League players in the Indian national squad irks the Italian, who he believes are as talented than those players who compete in the top-tier Indian Super League (ISL).
"Coach Igor does not give chances to our players in the national team most of the time. I'm very disappointed with this. ATKMB had eight national team players and we beat them 4-2 despite missing many open chances," he said post the opening game.
There is the thinking in Indian footballing circles that players competing in the ISL are much more better than the ones in the I-League and there is a gulf in talent between the two, especially when it comes to performing against international sides.
However, Gokulam Kerala have shown that the tide is turning and we may just see more I-League stars represent the Blue Tigers in the near future.