New Delhi, Aug 28: In preparation for the upcoming 49th King’s Cup taking place from September 7 to 10, the Indian senior football team is gearing up with determination. With memories of their previous trip to Thailand still fresh, Igor Stimac’s squad is eager to leave behind past disappointments and embrace a new chapter in their journey.
When India last participated in the King’s Cup in Thailand in June 2019, it was, in a sense, the beginning of a new era. After an excruciating last-minute exit from the AFC Asian Cup group stage just five months before, Stimac took charge, kicking off the next cycle for the Blue Tigers.
India have been drawn against the highest-ranked side in the competition, Iraq, in this year’s edition too. Thailand and Lebanon will contest the other semifinal. The difference this time, however, is the momentum India is carrying into the competition.
Stimac’s men have not lost this year and are fresh from the SAFF Championship and Intercontinental Cup triumphs at home.
The Indian team which took on Curacao in the 2019 semifinal had many new faces, not only among the coaching staff but also on the pitch. Stimac, on his debut in the Indian dugout, handed out his first international caps to as many as six players, some of whom have gone on to become mainstays in the Indian team.