NorthEast appoint World Cup semifinalist Robert Jarni as new head coach
NorthEast United FC have appointed former Croatia, Real Madrid and Juventus star Robert Jarni as the new head coach for the upcoming season of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL). The 50-year-old has over a decade of coaching experience behind him, with his last stint being with the Croatian Under-20 national team. Jarni will take over the Highlanders' reins after former head coach Eelco Schattorie joined Kerala Blasters FC a couple of months back.
During his playing days, the Croat plied his trade in the highest level for over 16 years. His journey started with Croatian club Hajduk Split back in 1986 and saw him play for several top clubs all over Europe, like Torino, Juventus, Real Betis and Real Madrid. During his time with Juve from 1994 to 1995, Jarni won the Italian league title and the Coppa Italia with The Old Lady. He was also part of the Los Blancos when they won the Intercontinental Cup back in 1998.
Highlanders, please welcome World Cup Bronze Medallist and former Croatian U-20 Manager, Robert Jarni, as the new Head Coach of NEUFC! 🔴⚫⚪#StrongerTogether #8States1United #WelcomeJarni pic.twitter.com/q1gbZxl9j9— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) August 5, 2019
On the international front, Jarni was part of the former Yugoslavian youth side when it won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1987. Incidentally, current India national team head coach Igor Stimac was his teammate during the triumph. Like Stimac, Jarni went on to become a part of Croatia's 'Golden Generation' which shocked the world after finishing third in the 1998 France FIFA World Cup. Jarni played a total of 81 matches for the Croatian national team, which at one point was a national record for international caps by a Croatian player.
Like his club career, Jarni's coaching career too began at Hajduk Split. Over the next few years, Jarni managed several clubs in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary before taking over as the coach for the Croatia U-19 team in 2017. The following year, he was put in charge of the U20 side.
At NorthEast, Jarni will have a tough act to follow after Schattorie led the team to their first-ever Hero ISL semi-final last season, But the Croat has both the experience and pedigree to succeed at the club and can very well meet fans' lofty expectations from the team this season.
“I am thrilled to take on this role at NorthEast United and the project has my full commitment. This is my first foray into managing an Asian club and I am thrilled to bring in an exciting brand of football which the supporters will thoroughly enjoy," the Croat said after formalizing the deal.
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