Sabyasachi Bagchi: Ahead of India’s participation in the Kings Cup coming this June the AIFF has appointed former Croatian World Cupper Igor Stimac as the head coach of the Indian Football team. After knowing about his appointment Indian Football team captain Sunil Chhetri looked really happy. Under former coach Stephen Constantine India has got a lot of success and with that the failure has come as well. Though Chhetri don’t want to think about the past and wants to take the Indian Football forward. While taking to www.xtratime.in on what’s app he talked about all the things.
XT: What do you think about Igor Stimac’s inclusion in Indian Football?
Sunil: You know Igor has a vast knowledge of World football and that’s why I am eagerly waiting to play under his coaching. In the last few years we have got a lot of young players in the national team and I have listened that Igor is also eyeing to work with these young talents. I think with his introduction the young footballers will get a lot of benefit from him and the Indian football will flurish as well. Under him Croatia qualified in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and we should also think positive as well.
XT: Despite of Igor’s arrival you won’t get much time ahead of Kings Cup. Is it a problem for all of you?
Sunil: Some problems are definitely there as the football season has ended in our country. All the footballers are spending time with their family. In the meantime the camp for Kings Cup will begin from May 20. That’s why I have warned everyone in our what’s app group that everyone should be concious about their fitness and they should start some training ahead of the camp. I have told them this because the new coach shouldn’t feel that we aren’t concerned about our fitness. The new coach will mostly talk about the technical aspects of the game. In between that if the players don’t keep themselves fit that will be very bad for the team. We will lose 10 days to regain our fitness if that happens and that’s why I have told everyone to keep working.
XT: How do you think a foreign coach can gain the trust of Indian players?
Sunil: We don’t have any star player rule in our team. I have played in the countries like America & Portugal. But I have always been a friend or a big brother to a footballer. If you become egoistic with your fellow teammates then you can’t grow as a team. In this matter I always give example of Thoi Singh. Thoi knows nothing except hardwork. Whatever you tell him he will do that without any questions. He believes his captain and coach more than him. We have many footballers in our team who believes in coach a lot and that’s why the coach should respect that as well.
XT: It has been learnt that Igor knows everything about all the Indian footballers. He gave a ‘power point presentation’ regarding this. Did you know that?
Sunil: I have known this later as well. He has taken a big challenge as he is coming to India from a country like Croatia. I Know that he has a lot of knowledge about us and it will help our team as well.
XT: Stephen had a different style. Now Igor will follow another. How will you cope up?
Sunil: I don’t think there will be any problem. Both are different person. Their philosophy, technique and thought process is different and that’s normal. Indian football needed a new coach to continue the proceedings and we got that. Now we have to talk with him to understand what he wants from us.
XT: If you can win the Kings Cup your FIFA ranking will improve. You had chat with your players?
Sunil: Everyone knows about their duties. We are aiming to lift the trophy. We will discuss with our players in our camp. Curacao is also very strong opponent.
XT: Do you think Igor can take India to the World Cup?
Sunil: As a performer I dream everyday after leaving the bed. If you can’t dream you can’t live. I still has a dream to play in the World Cup. If we can qualify to the World Cup under Igor’s coaching I will definitely feel proud.