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Top 8 Indian Super League (ISL) Coaches of All-Time

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The Indian Super League, or more commonly referred to as the ISL, is the apex professional football league in India. It was founded in 2014 and is currently contested by 12 teams. The season runs from September to March and includes a 22-round regular season followed by playoffs involving the top six teams, culminating with the ISL Final to determine the champions. At the conclusion of the regular season, the team with the most points is declared the winner and is presented with the League Winners’ Shield.

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The Indian Super League (ISL) has come a long way since its inaugural season. The league has attracted some of the biggest names in world football, both as players and coaches. In the process, it has helped to raise the standard of Indian football and produce a new generation of talented players. Some of the coaches who have worked in the ISL have played a significant role in its success. They have brought their expertise and experience to the league, helping to develop players and teams. In this article, we take a look at the top 8 ISL coaches of all time.

Best Indian Super League (ISL) Coaches of All-Time

Sr. No Name of the coach
1 Sergio Lobera
2 Antonio López Habas
3 Steve Coppell
4 Juan Ferrando
5 Owen Coyle
6 Manuel Márquez
7 Marco Pezzaiuoli
8 Khalid Jamil

Sergio Lobera

ISL Coaches
(Image Source: The Indian Super League)

Sergio Lobera is arguably the most successful coach in ISL history. He has won three ISL titles, two with FC Goa and one with Mumbai City FC. He is also the only coach to have won the league title with two different teams.

Lobera is known for his attacking style of play. It is also notable that he has a talent for getting the best out of his players, maximizing their potential and bringing out their best performances on the field. He has helped to develop some of the best Indian players in the league, including Brandon Fernandes, Seriton Fernandes, and Hugo Boumous.

  • Managerial Career
Years Team
1997–2006 Barcelona (youth)
2006–2007 Barcelona C
2008–2009 Terrassa
2010–2011 San Roque
2011–2012 Ceuta
2012 Barcelona (assistant)
2012–2014 Las Palmas
2014–2017 Moghreb Tétouan
2017–2020 Goa
2020–2021 Mumbai City
2022–2023 Sichuan Jiuniu
2023– Odisha

Antonio López Habas

ISL Coaches
(Image Source: Twitter)

Antonio López Habas stands as a prominent and accomplished coach within the ISL. With an impressive record, he clinched two ISL titles, both achieved with ATK, making him the sole coach to secure victory in the ISL final on two occasions.

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Habas is celebrated for his emphasis on defensive prowess and exceptional team organization. Additionally, he has garnered acclaim for his adept mentorship of young, emerging talents.

  • Managerial career (From 2010- 2023)
2010–2011 Mamelodi Sundowns
2012–2013 Bidvest Wits
2014–2016 Atlético de Kolkata
2016–2017 Pune City
2019–2020 ATK
2020–2021 ATK Mohun Bagan
2023– Mohun Bagan SG (technical director)

Steve Coppell

Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell
(Image Source: rediff.com)

Steve Coppell is one of the most experienced coaches in the ISL. He has managed teams in England, Scotland, and Wales before coming to India.

Coppell is known for his attacking style of play and his ability to motivate and get the best out of his players. He has helped to develop some of the best Indian players in the league, including Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, and Sandesh Jhingan.
  • Managerial career
1984–1993 Crystal Palace
1995–1996 Crystal Palace
1996 Manchester City
1997–1998 Crystal Palace
1999–2000 Crystal Palace
2001–2002 Brentford
2002–2003 Brighton & Hove Albion
2003–2009 Reading
2010 Bristol City
2012–2013 Crawley Town (director of football)
2013–2014 Portsmouth (director of football)
2016–2017 Kerala Blasters
2017–2018 Jamshedpur
2018–2019 ATK

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Juan Ferrando

Juan Ferrando
(Image Source: myKhel.com)

Juan Ferrando is a relatively new coach in the ISL, but he has already made a big impact. He led ATK Mohun Bagan to the ISL title in his first season in charge.

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Ferrando is known for his attacking style of play and his ability to develop young players. He has helped to develop some of the best Indian players in the league, including Liston Colaco, Manvir Singh, and Prabir Das.

  • Managerial career
Years Team
2009–2010 Premià (youth)
2010–2011 Terrassa (youth)
2011–2012 Hospitalet (youth)
2012–2013 Málaga (youth)
2013 Sheriff Tiraspol (assistant)
2013 Sheriff Tiraspol
2014 Ergotelis
2015–2016 Cultural Leonesa
2017 Linares
2017–2020 Volos
2020–2021 Goa
2021– Mohun Bagan SG

Owen Coyle

Owen Coyle (Indian Super League)
(Image Source: Khel Now)

Owen Coyle is a seasoned coach in the ISL, boasting extensive managerial experience in various football leagues, including England, Scotland, and the United States, prior to his venture into Indian football.

Coyle is recognized for his attacking style of play and his ability to bring the best out of his players. He has helped to develop some of the best Indian players in the league, including Iain Hume, Jackichand Singh, and Sahal Abdul Samad.

  • Managerial career
2003 Falkirk
2005–2007 St Johnstone
2007–2010 Burnley
2010–2012 Bolton Wanderers
2013 Wigan Athletic
2014–2016 Houston Dynamo
2016–2017 Blackburn Rovers
2017–2018 Ross County
2019–2020 Chennaiyin
2020–2022 Jamshedpur
2022–2023 Queen’s Park
2023– Chennaiyin

Manuel Márquez

Manuel Marquez (Indian Super League)
(Image Source: goal.com)

Manuel Márquez is a relatively new coach in the ISL, but he has already made a big impact. He led Hyderabad FC to the ISL title in his first season in charge.

Márquez is known for his attacking style of play and his ability to get the best out of his players. He has helped to develop some of the best Indian players in the league, including Bartholomew Ogbeche, Joao Victor, and Mohammad Yasir.

  • Managerial career
2002–2003 PB Anguera
2003–2006 Prat
2006–2007 Europa
2007–2009 Prat
2010–2012 Badalona
2013–2014 Espanyol B
2014–2015 Prat
2015 Sant Andreu
2016–2017 Las Palmas B
2017 Las Palmas
2018 NK Istra 1961
2018–2019 Ratchaburi Mitr Phol
2020–2023 Hyderabad
2023– Goa

Marco Pezzaiuoli

Marco Pezzaiuoli (Indian Super League)
(Image Source: BFC Twitter)

Marco Pezzaiuoli is an experienced coach who has worked in various football leagues around the world, including the Indian Super League (ISL). He has managed teams in Germany, Switzerland, and Thailand before coming to India.

Pezzaiuoli is recognized for his expertise in defensive discipline and his talent for organizing teams effectively. Marco has received widespread acclaim for his work with new talent and his ability to develop them into accomplished athletes.

  • Managerial Career
2002 Karlsruher SC (caretaker)
2004–2005 Suwon Samsung Bluewings (assistant coach)
2006 Eintracht Trier
2007–2008 Germany U16
2008–2009 Germany U17
2009–2010 Germany U15
2009–2010 Germany U18
2011 TSG Hoffenheim
2014 Cerezo Osaka
2016 Zhuhai Suoka
2014–2017 Guangzhou Evergrande (director of youth development)
2017–2020 Eintracht Frankfurt (technical director)
2021–2022 Bengaluru
2022- Galatasaray (technical director)

Khalid Jamil

Khalid Jamil (India Super League)
(Image Source: goal.com)

Khalid Jamil is the only Indian coach on this list. He is the first Indian coach to be permanently appointed as the head coach of an ISL club. 

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Jamil is known for his work with young players and his ability to get the best out of his teams. He has helped to develop some of the best Indian players in the league, including Lallianzuala Chhangte, Brandon Fernandes, and Anirudh Thapa.

  • Managerial Career
2009–2015 Mumbai
2016–2017 Aizawl
2017–2018 East Bengal
2018–2019 Mohun Bagan
2019–2020 NorthEast United (assistant)
2020–2021 NorthEast United (interim)
2021–2022 NorthEast United
2022–2023 Bengaluru United
2023– Chitwan

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many great coaches who have worked in the ISL over the years. They have all played a significant role in the development of the league and the Indian national team.

It will be interesting to see who emerges as the next great ISL coach. There are a number of talented young Indian coaches coming through the ranks, and it is only a matter of time before one of them breaks through and becomes a household name.


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