Indian Football: Twitter reacts as Igor Stimac is named the new National Team Head coach
The announcement was due at any moment and when a Twitter account of Igor Stimac, the top contender for the Indian national football team head coach, suddenly popped up late on Tuesday, it was guaranteed that the signing would be made official on Wednesday.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) expectedly appointed the Croatian World Cup bronze medallist as the new head coach of the Indian Football team around noon with the social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram slowly gaining traction as the day progressed.
While that was the story of Stimac's job confirmation, Indian football fans on social media had a field day welcoming the 51-year-old. While some advised caution in his selection and style of play, many others were just happy seeing someone of the calibre of Stimac taking up the role of the coach.
Stimac finished third in the 1998 FIFA World Cup with Croatia and grabbed the 1987 Youth Championships with Yugoslavia U-19. He also has experience playing for Derby County and West Ham United in the Premier League before the turn of the century and millenium.
The defender would go on to coach the Croatian national team from 2013-14, guiding them to a FIFA World ranking of No 4 and seeing them make the final stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He also enjoyed stints in his youth club Hajduk Split before enjoying a certain degree of success NK Zagreb and Zadar.
Results didn't favour Stimac in his recent coaching assignments with Sepahan in the Persian Gulf Pro League and Al-Shahania in the Qatar Stars League. But he comes to India with a clean slate and is looking to continue the work done by his predecessor Stephen Constantine.
Stimac's immediate goal is to call for a national camp and see India do well in the Thailand King's Cup in June. They are set to face Curacao in the opener on June 5.
That apart, Stimac will helm India at the Intercontinental Cup featuring Tajikistan, Syria and North Korea in July while later assignments include the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Here's how Twitter welcomed Stimac to the country: