Srečko Katanec

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Srečko Katanec
Srečko Katanec 2015.jpg
Srečko Katanec in 2015
Personal information
Date of birth (1963-07-16) 16 July 1963 (age 56)
Place of birth Ljubljana, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder, Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Iraq (manager)
Youth career
1970–1981 Ljubljana
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1985 Olimpija 81 (10)
1985–1986 Dinamo Zagreb 21 (3)
1986–1988 Partizan 56 (10)
1988–1989 VfB Stuttgart 26 (1)
1989–1994 Sampdoria 87 (12)
Total 271 (36)
National team
Yugoslavia U21
1983–1990 Yugoslavia 31 (5)
1994 Slovenia 5 (1)
Teams managed
1996–1998 Slovenia U21 (co-manager)
1998 Gorica
1998–2002 Slovenia
2002–2003 Olympiacos
2006–2009 Macedonia
2009–2011 United Arab Emirates
2013–2017 Slovenia
2018– Iraq
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Srečko Katanec [ˈsretʃkɔ kaˈtanɛts] (About this soundlisten) (born 16 July 1963) is a Slovenian football manager and a former player, capped for Yugoslavia and Slovenia. He is the current manager of Iraq national team.

A former midfielder, who was also capable of playing as a defender, Katanec is regarded as one of the greatest Slovenian footballers of all time and represented Yugoslavia at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, UEFA Euro 1984, and the 1990 FIFA World Cup. After Slovenian independence, Katanec made five appearances for the newly formed Slovenian national team before retiring from professional football.[1]

During his club career, Katanec won a Yugoslavian league championship with Serbian club FK Partizan, and was a runner-up in the 1988–89 UEFA Cup with VfB Stuttgart. In a five-year spell at Sampdoria, Katanec won the Serie A championship, the Coppa Italia and the European Cup Winners' Cup, as well as finishing runner-up to Barcelona in the 1992 European Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.[2]

Under his management, Slovenia qualified for its first ever UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup in 2000 and 2002 respectively.[3] On 31 December 2012, he returned to manage Slovenia for a second time.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Katanec began playing football at age seven with NK Ljubljana. In 1981, he joined Olimpija; in 1985, he joined Dinamo Zagreb; while the next year, he signed with Partizan and was a Yugoslav champion in 1987.

In 1988, Katanec joined VfB Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. The club reached the 1989 UEFA Cup Final, but lost to Diego Maradona's Napoli. Katenec played just one season for Stuttgart. In 1989, he signed for Italian Serie A side Sampdoria, where he won the European Cup Winners' Cup in his first season. In 1991, Sampdoria won the Scudetto as Serie A champions, while the next year, the club reached the 1992 European Cup Final, losing to Barcelona. In 1994, he also won the Coppa Italia with Sampdoria under manager Sven-Göran Eriksson.

Katanec was a member of the Yugoslavia national team squad at 1984 European Championship in France, but he has fonder memories of 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where Yugoslavia team won a bronze medal. He was playing successfully in the qualifying round for 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy so he became the third Slovenian to play at a World Cup, where he appeared in three of Yugoslavia's five matches. These would be his last three caps for Yugoslavia. Altogether, he appeared in 31 matches and scored 5 goals.

Katanec played five more matches (and scored a goal) for the independent Slovenia national team, but appeared in only one official match. That was a qualifying round for the 1996 European Championship in England, on 7 September 1994 in Maribor against Italy. Soon after, his contract with Sampdoria expired and he finished his football playing career.

Career statistics[edit]


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Yugoslavia League Cup League Cup Continental Total
1980–81 Olimpija Ljubljana First League 2 0
1981–82 17 0
1982–83 29 4
1983–84 33 6
1984–85 Dinamo Zagreb First League 0 0
1985–86 21 3
1986–87 Partizan First League 28 4
1987–88 28 6
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
1988–89 Stuttgart Bundesliga 26 1
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1989–90 Sampdoria Serie A 27 5
1990–91 26 2
1991–92 26 4
1992–93 4 0
1993–94 4 1
Total Yugoslavia 158 23
Germany 26 1
Italy 87 12
Career total 271 36

Coaching career[edit]

Since 1996, Katanec co-coached the Slovenia under-21 team with Drago Kostanjšek. Meanwhile, he finished a school for managers and in 1998 became a head coach of ND Gorica. Later that year, on 1 July, he was announced as the Slovenian national team manager.

He led his team very successfully through the qualifying round and managed to qualify to the 2000 European Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands and thus started a football mania in Slovenia. There Slovenia played well, earning draws against FR Yugoslavia and Norway and losing to Spain, which was considered quite successful. Slovenia also managed to qualify to the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan but this time the team played worse, losing all three matches against Spain, South Africa and Paraguay, but most disappointing was Katanec's huge argument with the team's star player Zlatko Zahovič. Because of this he resigned immediately after the World Cup and on 2 November in the same year he was chosen as coach at Olympiakos Piraeus. It is believed that his argument with Zahovič played a crucial role as the club also had arguments with Zahovič three years before.[5] But under Katanec's command Olympiakos played worse than expected, and on 7 February 2003 the club's management took a chance and terminated his contract with immediate effect, the principal reasons being squad disharmony, Katanec's disrespectful comments against the club and its players[6] and his purported inability to understand fans' unequivocal desire for Olympiakos to win the domestic title.[7]

In 2004, he was a serious candidate to become national team coach of Croatia with a support of the Croatian Football Federation. But a lobby of influential coaches and managers strongly opposed him so Katanec decided to quit the candidate procedure and Zlatko Kranjčar was chosen instead of him.[8]

On 17 February 2006, Katanec was appointed as Macedonia's head coach for a two-year contract. Following a mixed set of results in the qualifying campaign for World Cup 2010 including a 1–0 win against Scotland and a 4–0 loss to the Netherlands, Katanec resigned from the position on 6 April 2009. A dispute with influential player Goran Pandev was cited by Katanec as the reason for his departure. On 21 June 2009, he was presented as a new head coach of the United Arab Emirates football national team.[9][10] On 6 September 2011, Katanec was sacked as manager of United Arab Emirates after two successive defeats in the third round of qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[11]

On 31 December 2012, he accepted the offer from the Football Association of Slovenia to become coach for the Slovenian national team for the second time, and was officially appointed on 4 January 2013.[3] He resigned in October 2017 after failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[12]

On 3 September 2018, Katanec was appointed as head coach of the Iraq for a three-year contract.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Katanec was born in Ljubljana to Croat parents from Međimurje.[14] He has two sons, Svit and Ian.



VfB Stuttgart


  1. ^ "Our Legends". Football Association of Slovenia. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Srečko Katanec competition coaching record". UEFA.
  3. ^ a b c "Katanec pet pred dvanajsto "dahnil usodni da"" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  4. ^ Strack-Zimmermann, Benjamin. "Srečko Katanec". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Unruly Zahovic is sent home". the Guardian. 6 June 2002. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Olympiakos coach vows to deliver title". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Το ήθος του Κάτανετς, η απόλυση από τον Ολυμπιακό για την "ψύχωση" και το περίεργο πέναλτι με το τακουνάκι (ΒΙΝΤΕΟ)". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Croatia delay boss decision". 8 July 2004. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Pandev causes Katanec to quit". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009.
  10. ^ "Katanec calls time on FYR Macedonia". 6 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  11. ^ Abbasher, Yasir (7 September 2011). "UAE football coach Srecko Katanec sacked". Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Slovenia boss Srecko Katanec to step down after qualifier against Scotland". ESPN. 7 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Katanec excited to lead Iraq". Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Hrvaški predniki vidnih Slovencev" (in Slovenian). Slovenske Novice. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2014.

External links[edit]