He is certainly not the first to say this but World Cup and Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo too feels India should follow the ‘Japan model’ in order to improve the standard of football in the country.

Brazilian great Rivaldo, who is in the capital on a three-day tour, today visited a football clinic for young kids organised by Indian Super league (ISL) outfit Delhi Dynamos as part of its grassroots programme.

“It is very important that big names coming from overseas teach the young players here. It’s important they see the big stars train, observe them carefully, listen and learn from them.

When Zico (Brazilian legend) was in Japan towards the end of his international coaching career, they recruited a lot of foreign players but, at the same time, the Japanese were also very dedicated and hard working and those qualities helped them learn quickly.

“Now they don’t need any foreign players. They have inculcated Zico’s philosophy and methodology and they are going along, playing in the World Cups. I hope this happens in India also,” Rivaldo said.

Before him another Brazilian former star Dunga, Uruguayan great Diego Forlan and Zico himself had asked India to follow the Japanese model.

The 44-year-old former Barcelona and AC Milan star, who could play as an attacking midfielder, second striker and also winger, hung up his boots in 2015 after a glorious career both with his clubs as well as the national team.

Though it sounds far-fetched, Rivaldo was open to the idea of coaching in the Indian Super League in future.