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I knew my time would come: Rahul Bheke

India
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I knew my time would come: Rahul Bheke

Rahul Bheke was one of the standout performers for Bengaluru FC this past season.
Rahul Bheke was one of the standout performers for Bengaluru FC this past season.

Rahul Bheke says he got his hopes up when he learned earlier this month that Croatia's Igor Stimac had been appointed the new coach of the Indian football team. "When the ISL season ended, the news came in that the coach had been changed," says Bheke. "I felt if the new coach is there, I could get a call-up [for the national camp] and I should be ready."

Considering his performances in recent years, it's a bit of a surprise that Bheke should feel there was still some doubt over his selection. While...

Igor Stimac appointed new senior men's team coach

Igor Stimac in action for West Ham United.
Igor Stimac in action for West Ham United.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has appointed Igor Stimac as the Head Coach of the senior men's team on a two-year contract. Stimac comes with an experience of over 18 years in coaching, structuring, and developing football and players in Croatia and internationally.

As a Coach, Stimac helmed Croatia's qualification to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. During his tenure as the national coach of Croatia, he handed debuts to the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Ante Rebic, Alen Halilovic, and Ivan Perisic....

'The least we can give the new coach is a fitter team'

AIFF officially announced the appointment of Igor Stimac as head coach of the Indian national men's football team, on Wednesday. Ahead of his hiring, ESPN had spoken to the national team's talisman Sunil Chhetri on the prospect of Stimac taking over, the legacy of Stephen Constantine, and what the new coach can expect from the players. 

Excerpts from the interview:

On how hard it would be for Stimac to make an immediate impact

I think the first tournament will be a little difficult for him...

Former Croatia coach Igor Stimac set to be India coach

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...

Albert Roca among four shortlisted for India coach's job

Bengaluru coach Albert Roca
Bengaluru coach Albert Roca
 

The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) technical committee has shortlisted four candidates, including two-time South Korean World Cupper Lee Min-sung and Bengaluru FC's (BFC) former coach Albert Roca, for the job of the chief coach of the men's national team.

Besides Lee and Roca, who tasted immense success at BFC, the other two aspirants in the fray are ex-Croatia national team manager Igor Stimac and former Sweden U-21 coach Hakan Ericson.

The technical committee, headed by former India...