The Indian national team is all set to get a new coach after the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Technical Commitee decided to recommend a high-profile name in Igor Stimac for the position.
The Croat's former national team teammate and the current president of the Croatian Football Federation, Davor Suker, has backed his compatriot to come good in the India coach role, provided the decision is ratified by the AIFF's Executive Committee, in an exclusive chat with Goal.
"Igor Stimac was a great footballer in his time. He's had a lot of experience playing in Spain, England and the Croatian national team," Suker told Goal, pointing to the former defender's time at Cadiz, West Ham United and Derby County.
Suker himself turned out for famous clubs like Real Madrid, Arsenal and Sevilla. Both Stimac and Suker were also teammates at West Ham United in 2000-01.
Stimac and Suker are part of a golden generation in Croatian football as the two were integral parts of the team that finished third in their first-ever appearance at the World Cup as an independent nation in 1998. Suker himself finished the tournament in France winning the Golden Boot with six goals.
"We enjoyed together winning the bronze medal in the 1998 World Cup," reminisced Suker.
In 2012, both Suker and Stimac entered the Croatian national team set-up together as President of the national body and coach of the senior team respectively, rekindling their partnership from their playing days.
"Igor was a dedicated player and now as a coach, he would be excellent for both young and experienced players. He chooses the best way to win," Suker praised his compatriot.
He continued, "I hope the knowledge of Croatian football and Croatia's experience from the last World Cup can benefit Indian football."
Under Suker's presidency, Croatia managed to reach the final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Suker remains a highly celebrated figure in Croatian football. He is the only Croat to feature in the FIFA 100 list and is the highest goalscorer for the national team with 45 goals across a ten-year international career.
Suker stated that Stimac can count on the Croatian FA's as well as his personal support if he is handed the task of taking Indian football to the next level. "I wish Igor all the best and we will always support him from the Croatian FA and myself. I hope to see him soon in India."
"Good luck to everyone and to my friends from the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) and the President Praful Patel," he concluded.