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Igor Štimac (pronounced [îgor ʃtǐːmats];[1][2] born 6 September 1967) is a Croatian football coach and former footballer, who played as a centre back and currently is the manager of Indian national football team. In his playing career he had three spells with Hajduk Split and also played for Cádiz in Spain and for Derby County and West Ham United in England. He represented the Croatia national team 53 times, playing at Euro 1996 and at the 1998 World Cup, when Croatia finished third.

Igor Štimac
Igor Štimac - Sepahan vs. Naft Tehran.jpg
Štimac during a match between Sepahan and Naft Tehran
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-09-06) 6 September 1967 (age 51)
Place of birth Metković, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
India (coach)
Youth career
Neretva Metković
1984–1985 Hajduk Split
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1992 Hajduk Split 64 (3)
1986–1987Dinamo Vinkovci (loan) 31 (2)
1992–1994 Cádiz 62 (4)
1994–1995 Hajduk Split 27 (2)
1995–1999 Derby County 84 (3)
1999–2001 West Ham United 43 (1)
2001–2002 Hajduk Split 11 (2)
Total 322 (17)
National team
1987 Yugoslavia U20 14 (2)
1990–2002 Croatia 53 (2)
Teams managed
2005 Hajduk Split
2006 Cibalia
2009–2010 NK Zagreb
2012–2013 Croatia
2015 Zadar
2015–2016 Sepahan
2016–2017 Al-Shahania
2019– India
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

As a coach, Štimac was in charge of the Croatian national team from 2012 to 2014. In club football, he has had brief spells in charge of Hajduk Split, Cibalia, NK Zagreb and Zadar, Iranian club Sepahan and Qatari club Al-Shahania. On 15 May 2019, Štimac was appointed as the head coach of India national team on a two-year contract.[3]


Club careerEdit

He played for the Croatia national football team, winning 53 caps and scoring two goals,[4] and formed part of a Croatia squad that won the bronze medal at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Previously, Štimac was a member of the highly talented Yugoslavia under-20 team that won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile, playing four games and scoring two goals in the tournament.[5] At the club level he played for Hajduk Split and, most notably, Derby County. Štimac arrived at the Baseball Ground on 31 October 1995 for a fee of £1.5 million from Croatian club Hajduk Split.[citation needed] He scored a goal on his debut for the Rams away at Tranmere, but the Rams fell to a heavy 5-1 defeat.[citation needed] The rest of the season was more successful; Derby gained promotion and remained unbeaten in 20 consecutive matches.[citation needed] Štimac had nearly four years with the Rams. He was sold on 29 August 1999 to West Ham United for £600,000, where he scored once, against Newcastle United.[6]

In all, Štimac made 84 league appearances for the Rams, in addition to seven FA Cup appearances and two League Cup appearances. In 2009, he was voted into a fans' greatest ever Derby County team, by readers of the Derby Evening Telegraph.[citation needed]

He also worked as a football analyst providing colour commentary for Croatian Radiotelevision during their broadcasts of the Croatia national team's matches.[citation needed]

International goalsEdit

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 3 September 1995 Maksimir, Zagreb   Estonia
6 – 1
7 – 1
Euro 1996 Qualifying
2 26 March 1996 Stadion Varteksa, Varaždin   Israel
1 – 0
2 – 0

Coaching careerEdit

Early daysEdit

Štimac started his managerial career in 2001. taking charge of football academy when he took over his native club Hajduk Split acting as well as Sport Director winning last two championships for Hajduk (2003–04 and 2004–05). In 2004–05 season he took managerial position for the last 10 games after replacing Blaz Sliskovic. With many difficulties he managed to win championship but lost in the Cup Final to FC Rijeka. In the spring of 2006, he also spent a few months coaching Croatian first division side Vinkovci saving them from relegation. On 14 September 2009, he was appointed as the new NK Zagreb manager replacing Luka Pavlovic who lost 7 out of 7 in the championship. However Stimac managed to save FC Zagreb from relegation and left the club at the end of the season.


On 5 July 2012, Štimac was appointed the new Croatia national football team manager, after the departure of his former national team teammate Slaven Bilić. His first match as Croatia manager came in a friendly game against Switzerland at Poljud Stadium, which ended in a disappointing 2–4 loss.[7] Despite that loss, Croatia entered the 2014 World Cup Qualifications in decent fashion, taking 16 points from first six games. However, the results were not representative of Croatia's form on the pitch, as the team only had a goal difference of +7 from those six matches and scored the majority of their goals from set pieces, counterattacks, and defensive errors by their opponents.[8] Then started a period of very poor results starting with a 0-1 loss to Scotland at Maksimir on 7 June 2013.[9] Following this Croatia lost 0–1 in a friendly match to Portugal on 10 June 2013 and then barely beat 148th ranked Liechtenstein 3–2 in a friendly match thanks to an 86th-minute goal by Eduardo on 14 August 2013.[10][11]

In their next world cup qualifying match, Croatia drew 1–1 against rivals Serbia in Belgrade, despite only having one shot on target and two shots overall.[12] This was followed by another loss at home at Maksimir, this time to eventual group winners Belgium with a result of 1–2.[13] With only one world cup qualifying match to go, Štimac had become widely unpopular in Croatia with one poll conducted by popular domestic newspaper 24sata resulting in 98% of voters in favor of sacking Štimac.[14] On 15 October 2013, Croatia lost their final World Cup qualifying match 0–2 against Scotland.[15] After the 0–2 loss to Scotland, Štimac tendered his resignation to HNS president, former star footballer and national team teammate of Štimac, Davor Šuker. The following day, Šuker accepted his resignation.[16] Croatia ending qualifying as the second to last ranked second place team, having only one more point than last placed Denmark, thus taking the final playoff round spot.

Despite of some criticism Štimac managed to take the FIFA Ranking of Croatia national football team to 4th position just behind Spain, Germany and Argentina respectively.[17] Where Croatia national football team had climbed 5 positions higher to be ranked number 4 in the world. Also players like Mateo Kovačić[18], Alen Halilović[19], and few others made their debuts for the Croatia national football team during Štimac's stint.

Štimac managing Sepahan in a match against Persepolis


In the beginning of 2015, Štimac was named as a new coach of Zadar.[20] After six months he quit the job at Zadar. The club was relegated to second division by the licensing board of HNS (CFF) due to financial irregularities 3 games before the league ended and thus there was no motivation left to play.[21] On Štimac's resignation the President of the Club - Josip Bepo Bajlo said ¨I would like to thank Mr Stimac for the five months that he has worked in Zadar, and he has still done the best in such situation¨ [22]


On 12 November 2015, he became head coach of Sepahan, replacing Hossein Faraki. He resigned as Sepahan head coach on 20 April 2016, after a run of unsuccessful results which led Sepahan in the 11th place and out of both season's cups, Hazfi Cup and AFC Champions League.


In May 2018 the official fan group of Derby County started demanding for Igor to become their Club manager and replace Gary Rowett.[23]

India National Football TeamEdit

On May 15th 2019 the AIFF announced him as a head coach,[3] after departure of Stephen Constantine in January after he resigned following the team performance in 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[24]


As a playerEdit

NK Hajduk Split
Derby County
Yugoslavia U-20

As a managerEdit

HNK Hajduk Split



  1. ^ "Ȉgor". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Ȉgor
  2. ^ "štȉmati". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Štímac
  4. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (16 July 2009). "Croatia - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  5. ^ Igor ŠtimacFIFA competition record
  6. ^ "Newcastle 2 West Ham 2". Sporting Life. 3 January 2000. Retrieved 31 December 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Hrvatska razočarala na početku Štimčeva mandata". Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic: Croatia's Terrifying Midfield Axis". Bleacher Report. 8 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Great Scots shock Croatia". ESPN Soccernet. 7 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Croatia vs Portugal Match Report". 10 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Croatia 3-2 Liechtenstein". ESPN Soccernet. 14 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Feisty Affair In Belgrade". ESPN Soccernet. 6 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Lukaku secures finals berth". ESPN Soccernet. 11 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Out of the shadows". SkySports. 9 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Scots do the double over Croatia". ESPN Soccernet. 15 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Šuker prihvatio ostavku Štimca". 16 October 2013.
  17. ^ "FIFA Rankings: Croatia Officially 4th In The World". 11 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Štimac: "Odluku o Kovačiću 'prelomio' sam sinoć, odigrao je za desetku"". 22 March 2013.
  19. ^ "CROATIAVS.PORTUGAL0-1". 10 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Štimac trener Zadra". 7 January 2015.
  21. ^ "Štimac dao ostavku na mjestu trenera Zadra". 16 July 2015.
  22. ^ "NEW PROBLEMS OF NK ZADAR Coach Igor Štimac resigned". 17 July 2015.
  23. ^ "'Terrible manager':Derby fans discuss replacing Rowett with Igor Stimac". Danny Owen. 21 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Meet Igor Stimac - the most high profile coach in India's history". Retrieved 15 May 2019.

External linksEdit