Former Croatia coach Igor Stimac set to be India coach

Igor Stimac coached Croatia in 2013. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Croatian Igor Stimac is set to become the next head coach of the Indian men's national football team. ESPN understands that the AIFF technical committee forwarded his name for approval to the AIFF executive committee.

Stimac's highest-profile stint came as manager of the Croatian national team. He managed the team during the qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup. He had a fairly decent record (8 wins, 2 draws, from 15 games), but he was replaced by Niko Kovac after a run of three losses in the last four games of the qualifiers, culminating in a 2-0 loss to Scotland.

During his tenure, though, Croatia climbed five places to fourth in the FIFA World Rankings.

Stimach has managed clubs across Croatia (Hadjuk Split, Cibalia, NK Zagreb, NK Zadar), Iran (Sepahan), and Qatar (Al Shahania), but hasn't won any silverware since a Croatian First League triumph with Hadjuk Split in 2004-05.

In his last job, at Al Shahania (December 2016 to May 2017), Stimac had an uninspiring record of just one win from 11 matches played, including four defeats.

Stimac, a centre-back in his playing days, was a member of the hugely successful Croatia team (53 apps) of the late 90s, which reached the quarterfinals of Euro 96 and finished third in the 1998 World Cup. He spent the majority of his career with Hadjuk Split, Derby County, and West Ham United.

Along with Stimac, three other names - Spaniard Albert Roca, Swede Hakan Ericson and South Korean Lee Min Sung - had been shortlisted for interviews with the technical committee.

It is understood that Stimac was the only candidate who turned up in person for the interview while the other three were interviewed via Skype. The newly appointed technical director of the national team, Doru Isac, was present during the interviews.