Indian Football

Igor Stimac: 5 interesting facts about the head coach of India men's national team

Arjun Singh Devgan
Stimac is the current head coach of India
Stimac is the current head coach of India / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Igor Stimac has been the head coach of the Indian men's national team since 2019, though not many remember that the Croatian was he was a good defender for Croatia and played for a number of clubs during his career as a player.

Here, we take a look at some interesting facts about the 54-year-old.

1. Played an important role in Hadjuk Split's success in the early 1990s


Stimac had two different stints with local Croatian club, Hadjuk Split during his career and played an important role in all of their success in the early 1990s.

The defender won a total of five trophies with the club, including two Croatian First League titles in 1992 and 1994/95.

2. Was a member of Croatia's squad that finished third in 1998 World Cup

Igor Stimac and Robbie Keane
Igor Stimac and Robbie Keane / Michael Cooper/GettyImages

Stimac made a total of 53 appearances over 12 years for the Croatian national team and was a key member of the squad that finished third in the 1998 World Cup.

He unfortunately failed to win a trophy with the national team, eventually retiring from international football in 2002.

3. Spent six years as a player in England

Igor Stimac
Igor Stimac / Phil Cole/GettyImages

The defender signed for Derby County in 1995 and spent almost four years with them, making 84 league appearances, in addition to seven FA Cup appearances and two league appearances.

He moved to West Ham United in the summer of 1999 for £600,000, playing a total of 43 league games for them.

4. Led Croatia to 4th in the rankings as a manager


Stimac replaced former national team-mate, Slaven Bilic as the manager of Croatia on 5 July 2012 and while he was criticised for the teams poor performances on the pitch - he did lead them to fourth in the FIFA World Rankings, only behind Spain, Germany and Argentina.

5. Led India to the 2021 SAFF Championship title

Igor Stimac
Curacao v India - International Friendly / Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/GettyImages

Stimac was the manager when India won the 2021 SAFF Championship title, with the Blue Tigers beating Nepal 3-0 in the final. Led by Sunil Chhetri, who was the top goalscorer with five goals to his name, the Blue Tigers remained unbeaten on the way to the title.