Filipović, born in Titograd, SR Montenegro, SFR Yugoslavia, made his name in Yugoslavia as a potent striker with Red Star Belgrade, during more than ten seasons at the club (05.06.1969 to 29 June 1980). He played a total of 520 games for the club scoring 302 goals. He was the Yugoslav First League top scorer in 1976/77 season with 21 goals. He also still holds the club record for most goals in European competitions – scoring 28 goals for Red Star in European Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup. His first stop abroad was a season at Club Brugge in Belgium. In the summer of 1981, 28-year-old Filipović joined the reigning Portuguese champions S.L. Benfica where over the following three seasons he scored 28 goals in 54 league matches. Zoran Filipović also guided the club Benfica to the 1983 UEFA Cup Final against Anderlecht, being the top scorer of that season's competition and scoring memorable goals for the Portuguese in the quarterfinal against AS Roma. Filipović ended his career with Boavista FC (1984–1986) when he became the assistant coach at the same club. On an International level, Zoran Filipović played 13 matches for the Yugoslav national team scoring 2 goals. His debut for Yugoslavia was at the age of 17.
He got his first head coaching job at S.C. Salgueiros in 1988 and stayed with the club for five seasons. He orchestrated the club's most notable moments in history by becoming Second League Champion and achieving UEFA Cup participation through best placement in club's history immediately in the next season. In 1993 he moved to S.C. Beira-Mar where he coached for a season. In 1994 he returned to S.L. Benfica for a two-year spell where he was the assistant coach and interim head coach winning one Portuguese Cup and participating in the Champions League. From mid-1990s Zoran Filipović was on the FR Yugoslavia national team coaching staff as an assistant to head coach Slobodan Santrač. He was part of Yugoslav coaching staff at the World Cup 1998, leaving the post together with Santrač right after the tournament. After joining as their head coach for a short spell, he left to work as part of Sampdoria coaching staff.Vujadin Boškov called him on to become his assistant during the second part of the 1998 season. Zoran Filipović's next stop was Vitória S.C. in the Portuguese league. However, Zoran Filipović re-joined the FR Yugoslavia national team in 1999 continuing his collaboration with Vujadin Boškov when he took over. Filipović was the assistant at the Euro 2000. In 2001 Zoran Filipović returned to coach Red Star Belgrade in Serbia until 2003 with which he won the Serbian Cup title and is remembered for launching young players such as Nemanja Vidić, Boško Janković, Aleksandar Luković amongst others. In 2003 Zoran Filipović went to the United Arab Emirates when coaching Al-Shaab with which he was defeated in the Cup finals. After the Emirates experience, he became the Technical Director of the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro A and u21 squads participating in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and the u21 European Championship in Portugal in 2006. On 1 February 2007 he was appointed the first coach of the newly created Montenegro national team. His first game in charge was a friendly against Hungary on 24 March 2007 where they won their debut match with 2–1. The record in the newly formed Montenegro national team was more than positive for a team rated always as underdogs – of a total of 23 matches played, 8 victories were achieved, 8 draws and 7 defeats. The FA president Dejan Savićević commented when Zoran Filipović's contract expired in January 2010 – "Filipović did an enormously good job. He formed a great group of players and worked with great enthusiasm." Zoran Filipović left the Balkan newcomers in an astonishing 73rd position in the FIFA ranking when he departed from this historical role. Only two months after leaving the helm of Montenegro national team he assumed a 3-month coaching job contract in Romanian Club FC Ceahlăul Piatra Neamţ. In July 2010 he was hired by South African club Golden Arrows from Durban. With only three months left in the championship and with relegation imminent,Zoran Filipović arrived in FC Atyrauto save the team from relegation. He stayed on to sign a one-year contract for season 2012.
As a player for Red Star Belgrade he was Top Goalscorer of the Yugoslav League (1976/77), 3x Yugoslav League Winner, 1x Yugoslav Cup Winner, and for Benfica he was UEFA Cup Top Goalscorer (1982/83), 2x Portuguese Liga Winner, 1x Portuguese Cup Winner and 1x Portuguese Super. As a coach, for SC Salgueiros he was the Portuguese Second League Winner, for Benfica in 1995/96 he was the Portuguese Cup Winner, and for Red Star Belgrade in 2001/02 he was the Serbia and Montenegro Cup Winner.
Zoran Filipovic still has the goal record in European competitions for Red Star Belgrade – 28 goals. Zoran Filipovic is ranked the 3º Top goalscorer for Red Star – 502 games/302 goals. Zoran Filipovic in Season 1982/1983 he contributed to Benfica's European good campaign – 12 games/8 goals (hat trick against AS Roma, and also the decisive goal against U.Craiova)