New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) With the I-League reaching its climax, Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac admitted that he was “impressed” by the talent on display in the competition and that he is looking forward to watching more matches.
“It was fantastic to witness 2 I-League matches in Mumbai and Goa and I’m really impressed with the talents,” Stimac said on his Twitter handle.
“Looking forward to see more action in coming days,” he added.
The Croatian was in the stands in Mumbai earlier this month when the Indian Arrows played Kolkata giants East Bengal at the Cooperage Stadium, with the Arrows being led this season by Stimac’s national team assistant coach Venkatesh Shanmugham, also a former India captain.
Stimac was also in the stands as Mohun Bagan breezed past Churchill Brothers at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The former Croatian World Cupper handed the Man of the Match award to Fran Gonzalez as the Mariners extended their lead at the top of the I-League table with a 3-0 win.
It was in fact, during the launch of the I-League 2019-20 in November last year that the national coach had stressed that “every Indian player in the I-League is a potential candidate for a place in the senior team.”
“I will keep coming to watch the matches whenever I can. The players need to know that each player in the I-League with an Indian passport is one of the possible future candidates for the national team. It’s up to them – how they perform for their respective teams,” he has stated.
Stimac’s India, currently with three points from five matches in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers, next play Asian Champions Qatar in Bhubaneswar on March 26.