Indian national team coach Igor Stimac had a pleasant return to Qatar after a gap of two years when his charges managed to hold the Asian champions to a 0-0 draw in a recent World Cup 2022 qualifying encounter.
The former Croatian international defender had enjoyed a brief stint in Qatar when he was in charge of Qatar Stars League side Al Shahania in the 2016-17 season.
After India’s game against Qatar, Stimac was all praises for the facilities on offer at Qatar. “To get a chance to play in facilities like this, such a beautiful stadium where everything is so well organised, it’s an honour for everyone.”
The Croat recollected his coaching days in Qatar and mentioned that he noticed several changes in facilities since he left the country in 2017. The 52-year-old was left in no doubt that the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar will be the best one ever.
He said, “When I was working here two years ago, it was not like this everywhere. Many things have changed. But even then I used to say to everyone I knew from the football world that Qatar World Cup will be the best World Cup ever and there is no doubt about that. It was an honour for us to come here and play against such a good team like Qatar. God bless everyone.”
The Indian side trained at the Qatar University ground ahead of their clash against Qatar and Stimac was all praise for the facilities there. The same ground will be one of the training sites during the World Cup 2022.
Though the chances of India reaching the 2022 edition remains bleak, the morale-boosting result against Qatar would have given Stimac's charges a lot of confidence.