Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic believes that having too much foreign talent in the local leagues hampers the development of local players.

“I see too many foreigners in Indian local leagues, there should be less foreigners in Indian local leagues because it hampers the development of local players,” Dalic said while addressing an online session for Indian football coaches organised jointly by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Dalic, who led Croatia to the final of the 2018 World Cup, called for participation of more Indian players in the country’s football leagues at the expense of foreigners as it would help India buid a solid base.

“It is difficult to build a solid base of local talent if too many foreigners play in the domestic leagues,” he said.

Dalic stressed on the importance of why a solid grassroots coaching system must exist for top players to emerge, and said a similar system in Croatia has managed to throw up talent despite it being a country of just four million people.

“We have good coaches in our football system who have been there from the grassroot level. That is what has enabled players like Modric, Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic to break through,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)