NorthEast United on Monday appointed former Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Robert Jarni as their new head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League season.

“NorthEast United Football Club is delighted to announce that Croatian World Cup Bronze medallist, Robert Jarni, has been appointed to lead the club for the upcoming ISL season,” the club said in a statement.

“In the past, Robert has coached premier European clubs such as Hajduk Split, Puskás Akadémia FC, Pécsi Mecsek Football Club, and Fudbalski klub Sarajevo. Most recently, he was the coach of the Croatian U-19 and U-20 teams.

“Mr. Jarni has played at the highest levels of European football with stints at clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus, Real Betis, and Hajduk Split and is one of the most decorated Croatian players,” the statement further read.

On being appointed the new head coach of NorthEast United, Jarni said, “I am thrilled to take on this role at NorthEast United and the project has my full commitment. This is my first foray into managing an Asian club and I am thrilled to bring in an exciting brand of football which the supporters will thoroughly enjoy.”

NorthEast United’s Executive Director Priya Runchal welcomed the appointment. She said, “The Club is determined to add to the success of last year and Mr. Jarni brings the right blend of experience and tactical insight to take this team forward, with a focus on youth development.”

NorthEast United made the semi-finals of the ISL for the first time last season and would be keen on continuing the improvement under the Croatian.