Words of Prez Kovind brought me here: Indian football coach

India’s chief football coach Igor Stimac of Croatia said he has been “lucky enough to meet the new India”.

Speaking at a webinar titled ‘New India and its offerings to the World,’ Stimac said that the words of President Ram Nath Kovind took him to India.

Raj Kumar Srivastava, India’s Ambassador to Croatia, was also present at the webinar.

“Two years ago, the President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, during his visit to Croatia had said: ‘Young people are the bearers of progress and innovation in the search for new solutions. I invite you to explore the new India. In accordance with my life motto, everything is possible with maximum effort and love for what you do’,” said Stimac.

“The words of the President of India took me to India. Not just me but also several other Croatian football experts. The last two years I have been the football coach of the Indian national football team and I have been lucky enough to meet the new India,” he said.

Looking into the future, Stimac said cooperation between India and Croatia would benefit football.

“Today, thanks to the cooperation agreement between the two football federations, it is more certain that more and more players and coaches from Croatia will go and participate in the realisation of the Indian football dream — participation in the World Cup,” he said.

Stimac has been in charge of the ‘Blue Tigers’ since May 2019 and holding Asian champions Qatar goalless in Qatar is regarded as one of India’s best performances under him.

“Football education is increasingly using science and modern technology in player training methods, and we know very well what new India represents in the sector today. It is up to us to add a bit of Croatian football genius to the Indian youth and intellect,” Stimac maintained.

“Our countries have been cooperating in the field of education and culture for decades, and the growing interest of Croatian associations in Indian spiritualism, yoga and music testifies to the civilisation influence of India.”

Stimac said that the cooperation between the two countries has already increased in the recent past.

“In recent years, we have witnessed better cooperation in tourism, the pharmaceutical industry and especially in the IT sector. I sincerely hope that webinars like this will result in excellent collaboration and that India and Croatia will soon be equally successful in the field of start-up ecosystem, and football,” he averred.