New Delhi: Talismanic Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri gave a big thumbs up Thursday to the appointment of Igor Stimac as head coach of the team. He said that the team will benefit from the experience of the Croatian World Cupper.
The 51-year-old Stimac, who was part of Croatia’s 1998 World Cup squad that finished third in France, was Wednesday officially announced as head coach of the Indian team. He comes with an experience of over 18 years in coaching, structuring, and developing football with players back home and internationally. As a coach, Stimac’s major achievement was guiding Croatia to the 2014 FIFA World Cup main tournament in Brazil.
“I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new boss, @stimac_igor on his appointment as coach of the national team. He brings with him tremendous experience of having coached on some of the biggest stages in football. We will do well to benefit from it,” Chhetri said on his Twitter handle.
The 34-year-old Indian, who has played for more than 100 matches for India and is currently the second highest international goal scorer, said while there was a change of guard at the helm of affairs, the players will continue to give their best.
“This will be a process, one towards which we will be giving nothing less than 100 per cent. I have already spoken with the boys from the national team, and we have begun working on our fitness as we will need to switch modes soon,” the skipper informed.
“While there is a change in guard at the helm, what does not change is our desire to keep improving. What I am also assuming won’t change is the way all you fans have backed us. Let’s all turn to this new chapter together,” Chhetri added.
India’s next assignment will be the Kings Cup tournament in Thailand beginning, June 5.