Matjaž Kek

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Matjaž Kek
Matjaž Kek.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1961-09-09) 9 September 1961 (age 55)
Place of birth Maribor, FPR Yugoslavia
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Rijeka (manager)
Youth career
–1980 Železničar Maribor
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1980 Železničar Maribor
1980–1985 Maribor 114 (36)
1985–1988 Spittal/Drau
1988–1995 GAK
1995–1999 Maribor 126 (17)
National team
1992 Slovenia 1 (0)
Teams managed
2000–2001 Maribor (assistant/caretaker)
2001–2004 Maribor
2006–2007 Slovenia U15/U16
2007–2011 Slovenia
2011–2012 Al-Ittihad
2013– Rijeka
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Matjaž Kek (born 9 September 1961) is a former Slovenian footballer and current manager of Croatian club HNK Rijeka. He is the former manager of the Slovenia national team.

Club career[edit]

Kek started his professional football career at his home club Maribor in 1979,[1] before moving to the Austrian club Spittal/Drau in 1985, where he spent 3 seasons. He then transferred to another Austrian club, GAK of the Austrian Bundesliga where he played for 7 years. After that he returned to Maribor, where from 1995 to 1999 he won 3 Slovenian league titles, before retiring. He spent most of his career playing in defense, mostly in the centre back position and was known for his leadership abilities.

Managerial career[edit]


After finishing his career as a player, Kek stayed at Maribor, serving as an assistant coach for one season, before being appointed manager in 2000. He immediately won the league title in the 2000–01 season. Under his guidance the team won the league again in 2003.


In 2006 he was the coach of the Slovenian under-15 and under-16 national football teams. On 3 January 2007, Kek was appointed manager of the Slovenia national team, which he led to the 2010 FIFA World Cup after beating Russia in the play-off. On 24 October 2011, after the unsuccessful UEFA Euro 2012 qualifications, Kek and the Football Association of Slovenia came to a mutual agreement on the early termination of his contract.[2] He was succeeded by Slaviša Stojanović.

Al Ittihad[edit]

Kek then became the head coach of Saudi Arabian giants Al Ittihad, however, his brief encounter with the Arabian football finished abruptly when he was sacked couple of weeks later, on 8 February 2012.[3]


On 27 February 2013, after more than a year without contract, Kek took over Croatian top division club HNK Rijeka.[4] He led Rijeka to the group stage of UEFA Europa League in both the 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons. He also won the 2013–14 Croatian Football Cup and 2014 Croatian Super Cup, and finished runners-up in the 2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons of the Croatian First Football League. Over four years at the club, Kek holds several club records, including for most wins and appearances for a manager. On 24 October 2016, he became Rijeka's longest-serving manager per appointment.[5][6]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 19 March 2017
Club Nation From To Competition Record
P W D L Win %
HNK Rijeka Croatia 27 February 2013 Present Croatian First League 144 90 39 15 62.50
Croatian Cup 24 20 1 3 83.33
Croatian Super Cup 1 1 0 0 100.000
UEFA Europa League 28 12 10 6 42.86
Total 197 123 50 24 62.44

Personal life[edit]

The Kek family always had close ties with NK Maribor. Matjaž's father, Franc Kek, played for Maribor during the early 1960s, earning 50 league appearances for the club and scoring one goal in the process.[7] His son Matjaž (born 1991) is also a footballer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Pacak, Tomislav. "Rijeka odabrala Matjaža Keka". Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Vivoda, Vlado (24 October 2016). "Matjaž Kek od Intera do Intera: rekordnih 1335 dana na klupi Rijeke" (in Croatian). Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  6. ^ Vujnović, Korado (24 October 2016). "Pod stijenama Kantride 24.10. - Ruše se rekordi" (in Croatian). Radio Rijeka. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  7. ^ NK Maribor. "Kek Franc - nastopi" (in Slovenian). NK Maribor official website. Retrieved 16 March 2012.