Croatia's Bilic to take over Lokomotiv Moscow

14 May 2012 12:47

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic announced on Monday that he will take over at Russian Premier League sided Lokomotiv Moscow after the Euro 2012 championships.

"I signed a three-year contract with Lokomotiv Moscow, which becomes effective once the European Championship is over," Bilic told journalists.

"I'm happy and proud that I will join a big club, a big town and an extremely strong league."

Bilic said he was to take with him to Moscow his two main assistants -- Nikola Jurcevic and Aljosa Asanovic -- as well as both the squad's and goalkeepers' trainers.

Local media reported that in Moscow Bilic was to earn some three million euros ($3.8 million) per season.

The 43-year-old former Croatian international, who played for Everton and West Ham, took over as national coach in 2006. The following year he became a national hero when Croatia won 3-2 at Wembley to deny England a place at Euro 2008.

Croatia eventually ended up fifth but they failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

Bilic was a member of the squad that achieved Croatia's biggest success on the international stage when they were third at the 1998 World Cup in France.

According to local media reports, Bilic will be replaced by another former international, Igor Stimac.

Stimac began and ended his career at Hajduk Split but also played for Derby and West Ham United from the mid-1990s before returning to Croatia in 2001.

Croatia have been drawn in Group C with defending champions Spain, Italy and Ireland.

But despite a tough draw Bilic repeatedly stressed that he believes his side can reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

"As of today I will not talk about this (taking over Lokomotiv Moscow) any more," Bilic said on Monday adding he was to focus on Euro 2012.

"We are facing something that is the most important and the most beautiful -- the European Championship at which we don't go only to take part but rather to achieve something big."

The European Championship, which is being hosted jointly by Poland and Ukraine, runs from June 8 to July 1.

Source: AFP