Sunil Chhetri’s body is still quite young, says Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac

The Indian Football team Head Coach Igor Stimac talks about the upcoming Asian Cup challenge and how team preparing to face a strong Australian side in the first game on 13th January. The former Croatian also talks about the availability of Sunil Chhetri after the Asia Cup.

India are set to play their second consecutive AFC Asian Cup for the first time in the history and the coach is determined to make it count this time.

Igor Stimac on Sunil Chhetri and the preparation for Asian Cup

In a recent interview to Times of India, Igor Stimac believes that Sunil Chhetri will soon reach 100 international goals as his body is quite young.

“There is still lot of hunger in him. I once told Sunil that I won’t let him go before he scores 100 goals for India. We had a good laugh because he was then on 80 goals and now he is not far away from 100. His body is still quite young,” Stimac said.

Igor Stimac
Sunil Chhetri. Source: X

Indian team is facing injury concerns ahead of the Asian Cup. When asked about the same along with fitness, lack of prep time and facing a quality opponent like Australia, Stimac said, “Everything you mentioned is kind of a concern for us, but not having Ashique (Kuruniyan), Anwar (Ali), Jeakson (Singh) and now Sahal (Abdul Samad) for such a big game pains me. This game would have been a fantastic experience for them. With them, our team would have been better equipped to take on one of the toughest teams in the tournament. Their physical presence and composure will be badly missed.”

Igor Stimac made controversial comments about the Asian Cup results saying that he would not consider the Asian Cup as an important tournament as the team will be competing in the continental showpiece without proper national camp.

Igor Stimac clarifies about the statement, “That’s ridiculous. My statements are being taken out of context. Why would I urge everyone for a longer camp prior to the Asian Cup? The AFC Asian Cup is like the World Cup for us, so let’s stop playing games with my words.”

Stimac added, “Realistically, we are the underdogs in our group, but we have proved in 2023 against Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Iraq that on our day we can be a threat.”

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