International news

Croatia turn to Stimac

July 6, 2012
By ESPN staff

Former Derby County defender Igor Stimac has been appointed as Croatia's new head coach.

Igor Stimac
GettyImagesIgor Stimac in action for Croatia in 2001

Stimac, who made 53 appearances for Croatia as a defender, replaces Slaven Bilic who stepped down following Euro 2012 after six years at the helm.

Croatia were knocked out of the European Championship at the group stage after finishing third behind the two teams who ended up reaching the final, Spain and Italy.

The nation now turn their attention to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with their first qualifying match coming against Macedonia on September 7. The other teams in Group A are Serbia, Belgium, Scotland and Wales.

Stimac said on uefa.com: "I am proud what Slaven Bilic and the players did at Euro 2012, they left a great impression. In Brazil in two years there is a festival of football and Croatia will be there. I will do my best to make it happen."

Stimac, who represented Hajduk Split, Derby and West Ham as a player before becoming coach at Hajduk, Cibalia and most recently NK Zagreb, played alongside Bilic for Croatia during the 1990s.

Another member of that squad, Davor Suker, has been elected as the new president of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS).