The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has officially announced Croatian Igor Stimac, 51, as next coach for India. Stimac succeeds Stephen Constantine, whose contract had expired in January this year.
The Indian Express quoted a member of AIFF’s technical committee, saying, “This appointment is a signal that we are serious. To take the next step, who can be better than someone who has played the World Cup and coached players who have reached a World Cup final?” Stimac is likely to take charge of the team, ranked 101, on Monday.
A muscular defender during his playing days, he was one of the big names to reckon with in the Croatian side that finished third at the 1998 World Cup. That performance was their best-ever result, two decades before finishing second in Russia in FIFA 2018 World Cup and Stimac had coached more than half of that side during his 15-month stint between 2012 and 2013.
Stimac is also one of the most colourful personalities, as he has dabbled in betting, wine making and music.