Under Igor Stimac, India Men’s Football Team recently won the SAFF Championship and now, in an exclusive chat with Boria Mazumder, he opened up about his discussion on Indian football with Croatia legend and Ballon d’Or winner, Luka Modric. Modric is currently on vacation ahead of the start of a new season for his club, Real Madrid.
So, Stimac met him in Croatia. Notably, Stimac also coached Modric during his tenure as the head coach of Croatia. During that meeting, the India head coach shared all presentations for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and as per him, the Real Madrid legend was amazed by their recent success also.
“He was amazed by what we have done in recent months.” – Igor Stimac on Luka Modric
He said: “We spoke a lot about Indian football, and he was amazed by what we have done in recent months. He was very surprised that I accepted the India job four years back instead of waiting for a more lucrative opportunity. I explained to him that getting Indian football up is a dream. He knows and understands that such a big country with the world’s largest population has to rise up the ranks in football. It is possible if the proper structure is implemented, especially in rural areas.”
He further added that it would be nice if Team India’s players can get a chance to talk with him in the near future. “The potential is immense. He agrees with me that the FIFA window time for the national team is not enough for us to do well at the international level. Even Croatia, prior to all big tournaments, uses a minimum of four weeks’ time for preparation. That’s something we need to learn from. The Qatar World Cup was different because it was the first time ever the World Cup was played in December, so they had only two weeks’ time for preparation. It will be nice at some point to get him to speak to our players,” Stimac concluded.