The All India Football Federation has appointed Igor Stimac of Crotia as the new coach of the men’s football team on a two-year contract. He will succeed Stephen Constantine who was at the helm for nearly five years.

Stimac was the national coach of the Croatia team and helped it qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and has 18 years of experience as coach, scout and manager. His previous assignment was with Al-Shahania Club in Qatar.

“Igor is the right candidate to coach the Blue Tigers. I welcome him on board. Indian Football is going through a transition, and I am confident his vast experience will guide us to higher echelons,” Praful Patel, AIFF president, said.

As a player, Stimac was part the of the Croatia team which finished third in the 1998 Fifa World Cup and also reached the quarterfinals of the Uefa European Championship in 1996.

“His credentials as a coach, and experience as a player are sure to add immense value to the players, and the Indian Football ecosystem. The momentum gained needs to be sustained,” Kushal Das, AIFF general secretary, said.

Stimac’s first assignment will be the Kings Cup in Buriram, Thailand where India play Curacao in their first match on June 5.