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Croatia confirm Štimac as Bilić's successor

Published: Thursday 5 July 2012, 19.45CET
Igor Štimac has been appointed Croatia coach, tasked with guiding the side to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and filling the void left by the departure of former team-mate Slaven Bilić.
by Elvir Islamovic
Croatia confirm Štimac as Bilić's successor
Igor Štimac in action for Croatia in 2001 ©Getty Images

Published: Thursday 5 July 2012, 19.45CET

Croatia confirm Štimac as Bilić's successor

Igor Štimac has been appointed Croatia coach, tasked with guiding the side to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and filling the void left by the departure of former team-mate Slaven Bilić.

Igor Štimac has been confirmed as Croatia's new head coach, succeeding former international team-mate Slaven Bilić, who ended his six-year tenure to take the reins at FC Lokomotiv Moskva after UEFA EURO 2012.

Until now, Štimac's coaching experience has been limited to the Croatian first division, where he has had stints in charge of HNK Hajduk Split, HNK Cibalia and NK Zagreb. His first task will be to guide to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil a Croatia side eliminated after the group stage by eventual finalists Spain and Italy at last month's EURO.

"I am proud what Slaven Bilić and the players did at EURO 2012, they left a great impression," said Štimac. "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." 

Former Croatia defender Štimac, 44, had a notable playing career. Besides spells at HNK Hajduk Split, Derby County FC and West Ham United FC, he played 53 times for Croatia and was an integral part of the side that finished third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Bilić was also in that squad, as was Davor Šuker, who earlier on Thursday was elected as the new president of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS).

Last updated: 05/07/12 21.06CET

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