Top facts about Zlatko Dalic, Croatian football manager

Mon 19 July 2021 | 10:30

Zlatko Dalic served the bulk of his soccer professional life with Croatian sides. He mostly played as a defensive midfielder for a number of different teams. Read on to find out about the most important facts about the legendary Croatian manager.

Zlatko Dalic spent his youth career with NK Troglav 1918 Livno. His first major management position occurred in 2005, when he was named head coach of Varteks, where he guided the club to the Croatian Football Cup final in his first season. After that, he went on to other teams, notably a term with Dinamo Tirana in Albania and a year with Slaven Belupo in Croatia.

Former defensive midfielder helped the Croatian national team reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, their first making it to the final game. They lost the game to France. When he was the coach of the Croatian National team,

Luka Modric

was known as their best player.

Dalic’s longest tenure as a player was with Varteks. He played for them from 1992-1996 and then returned their on loan from Hajduk Split in 1998 before remaining there until 2000. He also managed Varteks from 2005 to 2007.

Top facts about Zlatko Dalic

The first

fact about Zlatko Dalic

is that Varteks, with whom he made the most games, is now playing in the Croatian Third Football League due to economic difficulties. Zlatko resigned from football in 2000 and returned to his former club Varteks as an assistant coach.

Zlatko Dalic early life

Dalic was born on October 26, 1966, in Livno, then territory of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, inside SFR Yugoslavia, contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Zlatko Dalic age

is 55. Speaking about

Zlatko Dalic parents

, it should be mentioned that his mother Kata and father Ivan Dalic are Catholic Croats. He is a citizen of Croatia.

Livno, his hometown, is now part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and his club, Troglav 1918, is in the third tier. Dalic was discovered while playing locally by renowned Yugoslav goalkeeper and Coach Vladimir Beara, who recommended him to Hajduk Split. It was 60 miles distant, and Dalic's father, Ivan, used to bike to Hajduk matches, according to family legend.

He once said about his childhood in an interview, “Water and the sea are two of my favorite things. I grew up by the sea, and my home on the Drava is where I feel most at ease now.”

Zlatko Dalic personal life

An important fact about Zlatko Dalic is that he married Davorka Propadalo, whom he met at a Livno high school, in 1992. Toni and Bruno, their two boys, were born to them. Dalic is a devout Roman Catholic who prays the Rosary before every game. Toni is now an IT engineer who also moonlights as a DJ. Bruno is now pursuing a management degree at an American institution in Croatia's capital.

Davorka began working as a representative for a business named "Varteks" while Zlatko was pursuing his football career, and when she gave birth to Toni, their oldest son. Toni found it more difficult to remain in kindergarten while his parents left to work. As a result, Davorta made the decision to quit her work in order to be there for her kid and devote her time to him.

Zlatko also addressed his wife, Davorka, and her efforts for the family, as well as his gratitude for her. He also stated how he has gotten to this point due of her efforts and hard work. In 2017, Zlatko and Davorka celebrated the “silver-feast” of their marriage, which marked 25 years of marriage, with their family, friends, and relations. Even after 25 years of marriage, they have never failed to express their love for one other.

Zlatko Dalic professional career

Dalic was a member of numerous of teams throughout his playing career. He began his junior career with Troglav 1918 Livno until signing Hajduk Split in 1983 to begin his senior journey after entering Cibalia, which was then known as Dinamo Vinkovci, he remained with Hajduk Split until 1986.

Dalic has also played for Budunost Titograd, Vele Mostar, and Varteks, in addition to Hajduk Split and Cibalia. In the year 2000, he retired from Varteks.

Zlatko Dalic coaching career

Zlatko Dalic became an associate manager for Varteks after his playing career ended in 2000. Dalic served as the team's sports director from May 2002 to May 2005, and he also served as Miroslav Blaevi's assistant coach throughout the 2003–04 and 2004–05 campaigns.


A notable

fact about Zlatko Dalic

is that in May 2005, he was named coach of Varteks, and in his first year in charge the team finished third in the Croatian First Division and advanced to the Croat Cup final.

Varteks lost 0–4 to HNK Rijeka in the opening leg of the final, which was contested in Rijeka. Dalic almost caused a shock in the second leg in Varadin, guiding the team to a 5–1 victory, but they fell one goal short of winning the trophy.


When his deal with Varteks expired in the summer of 2007, he became the coach of Rijeka, which finished fourth at the conclusion of the 2007–08 season. Dalic was fired on July 1, 2008, shortly before the beginning of the tournament when FK Renova knocked them out of the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Dinamo Tirana

Dalic coached Albania champions Dinamo Tirana in the 2008–09 campaign winning the Albanian Supercup with them.

He quit in February 2009 after losing two consecutive derbies against Tirana and Partizani, both from the capital.


After a brief spell in Albania, he came to Croatia in 2009 to take over

Slaven Belupo

, his third Croatia sports team.


Dalic took over as senior trainer of Al-Faisaly in the 2010–11 term. Under Dalic, the club achieved its biggest achievement in its history by competing for the King's Cup in the Saudi Professional League at the conclusion of the 2010–11 season.

Al Riyadh newspapers selected Dalic Manager of the Year in the Saudi Professional League for the 2010–11 campaign.  He beat over other well-known managers operating in Saudi Arabia at the period, such as Gabriel Calderón,

Walter Zenga

, and Eric Gerets, in the selection process.


An important fact about Zlatko Dalic is that he inked a deal with Saudi side Al-Hilal to coach their B squad on May 3, 2012. After the dismissal of Antoine Kombouaré,


signed with Dalic to lead the first squad on January 30.

He earned his coaching debut with Al-Hilal in the 2012–13 Saudi Crown Prince Trophy semi-final versus his former side Al-Faisaly on February 9, 2013.

Dalic ultimately guided Al-Hilal to the cup victory, the team's sixth in a row, and his second major championship in his managerial tenure. He was the leading contender for the job of sports director at Croatian giant Hajduk Split during the 2013–14 campaign, but he turned down the offer from one of the country's largest teams.


An important fact about Zlatko Dalic is that he was named coach of Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates on March 8, 2014, after the club fired Quique Sánchez Flores. In his first year, he guided the club to the summit of their division in the 2014 AFC Champions League, the first time the team has advanced beyond the group stage since 2006.

Al-Ain confirmed on April 30, 2014 that Dalic will continue as head coach for the following two years. Al-Ain defeated Al-Jazira 4–2 in the round of 16 of the 2014 AFC Champions League to progress to the quarter-finals; in the quarter-finals, the club defeated Al-Ittihad 5–1 to go to the semi-finals, where they lost 4–2 against Al-Hilal, Dalic's old side.

Al-Ain defeated league winners Al-Ahli 1–0 in the final of the UAE President's Cup on May 18, 2014, giving Dalic his first title as Al-Ain coach. For his efforts, Dalic was named Best Coach of 2014; at the conclusion of the first round of the UAE Pro-League, Al–Ain was in first place with one match remaining.

In the 2014–15 season,


earned their 12th UAE Pro-League championship. The team completed the season 11 points ahead of runners-up Al Jazira and Al Shabab Dubai, having only lost two matches.

They also set several records during the period, including admitting the lowest total goals, having the lengthiest undefeated record (15 matches), having the longest winning streak (8 games), and having the biggest home win against Ajman (7–1).

A notable fact about Zlatko Dalic is that he won the Coach of the Year award for the 2014–15 UAE Pro-League season on July 12, 2015, at the UAE Pro-League award presentation for leading his team to the league championship.

Dalic's opening game of the 2015–16 campaign was a UAE Super Cup game involving Al-Ain and Al-Nasr Dubai, which took place on August 15 and ended in a 4–2 win for Al-Ain.

Dalic had become the greatest coach in the UAE Pro-history League's after a 3–0 victory over Al-Ahli Dubai in the 10th round on 5 December, despite Al-Ain placed second in the league in 2016. The team also advanced to the 2016 AFC Champions League final, where they were defeated by Jeonbuk Motors 2–3.

During Dalic's stint as manager of Al-Ain, the team rose quickly in the Football Database Ranking; when he came in March 2014, the club was rated 335th, and by the time he left, the club had risen to 122nd in the world, as well as 5th in Asia, according to the ranking.

In January 2017, Dalic officially left Al-Ain, claiming a "need for relaxation" as the reason for his departure.


The Croatian Soccer Association appointed Dalic as the head coach of the

Croatia national football team

on October 7, 2017, after Ante ai was fired due to a string of bad performances.

Dalic stated upon his arrival that he would only stay head coach if Croatia qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and that his future would be decided by the HNS if Croatia failed to compete for the finals.

An important fact about Zlatko Dalic is that he guided Croatia to a 2–0 victory against Ukraine in 2018 World Cup qualification on October 9, securing second place in their group and a spot in the play-off round. Dalic appointed Ivica Oli, a retired Croatian international footballer, as his senior director on October 19th.

Croatia was drawn against


in the play-off stage, and Dalic guided the team to a 4–1 first-leg victory against Greece on November 9, all but clinching a spot in the 2018 World Cup. Croatia drew 0–0 with Greece in the return leg on November 12, but won 4–1 on aggregate, earning a spot in the World Cup finals.

Dalic then signed a deal with the Croatian Football Federation that would last through July 30, 2020, and will pay him approximately €500,000 per year. Croatia was placed in a difficult group that included Nigeria,


, and Iceland. Croatia defeated Nigeria 2–0 in their first encounter of the 2018 World Cup on June 16.

In the match, however, striker Nikola Kalinic declined to come on as a late replacement, claiming a back ailment as an explanation, despite having previously used similar reason throughout a practice game versus Brazil and the preceding training session. On the fifth day of the competition, Dalic decided to send him home.

A notable

fact about Zlatko Dalic

is that he was praised for his handling of Kalinic, with some claiming that the move secured his status as head coach. Croatia defeated Argentina by a score of 3–0 on June 21, with Ante Rebi, Luka Modric, and Ivan Rakitic scoring the goals. Croatia qualified for the elimination stage for the first time since the 1998 FIFA World Cup, when they came in third place.

Croatia won their group with a 2–1 victory against Iceland on June 26th, and drew


in the round of sixteen, progressing after a penalty shootout. Croatia defeated Russia in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals, setting up a semi-final match versus England.

Croatia defeated England 2–1 on July 11 to go to the final, where they were defeated 4–2 by France on July 15. He won the Franjo Buar State Award for Sport Yearly Award in recognition of his accomplishment.

Croatia was placed in the same pool as Spain and England in the first UEFA Nations League. Croatia began their Nations League campaign with a devastating 6–0 loss against Spain in Elche on September 11th. Croatia, on the other hand, was able to exact vengeance with a 3–2 win in Zagreb on November 15th.

Croatia was demoted to League B after a goalless draw with


in Rijeka on 12 October and a 2–1 loss in London on 18 November. Croatia, however, escaped relegation due to a format change and stayed in League A. Croatia started their UEFA Euro 2020 qualification season badly, winning 2–1 at home against Azerbaijan and Wales and losing 2–1 away to Hungary.

Croatia, on the other hand, returned to form by defeating Slovakia 4–0 in Trnava. Croatia defeated Slovakia 3–1 in their last qualifying match on November 16, 2019, at Rijeka, winning the group and earning their spot in the finals.

Dalic signed a new contract with the Croatian Football Federation on July 23, 2020, which kept him at the helm of the national team after the retirement of some influential internationals such as Mario Mandukic and Danijel Subai, as well as the productive integration of new names such as Bruno Petkovic, Josip Brekalo, and Nikola Vlai into the squad and an effective qualifying campaign.

An important fact about Zlatko Dalic is that Croatia had a terrible start to their UEFA Nations League campaign, losing 4–1 and 4–2 away against


and France, correspondingly. Croatia struggled to make any of the remaining matches after defeating Sweden 2–1 at home.

They came in third place in their group and escaped relegation to League B only because they had a superior goal difference than last-placed Sweden. Croatia also allowed the most goals in the Nations League than any other side. The general people demanded Dalic's resignation as a result of this.

Zlatko Dalic style of coaching

An important fact about Zlatko Dalic is that he was molded by his Gulf experience, and he credits his mentor and teacher Miroslav Blazevic, the godfather of Croatian managers, with guiding Davor Suker and his illustrious teammates to a dream bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup in France in a 3-5-2 system.

Blazevic built Croatia into a strong squad, and Zvonimir Boban's brilliance and Robert Prosinecki's skill came dangerously close to upending the existing order, but Lilian Thuram had other ideas.

Dalic's worldview, on the other hand, remains a mystery. He's a pragmatic liberal who cherry-picks elements from Blazevic and other coaches while still letting his players to wander around the field and express themselves. He hasn't put on a tactical restraint.

After Croatia embarrassed Germany 3-0 in the quarter-finals 20 years ago, Blazevic stated, "I persuaded my guys we were the greatest in the world, and they accepted it." It's a sentence that fits Dalic well. During his 10-month tenure, he has instilled confidence and mental toughness in his players.

He can't teach his team how to play football, but with his calming presence on Sunday, he may just be able to guide them to everlasting glory.

In 2017, he took over from Ante Cacic as Croatia teetered on the brink of the abyss, needing a victory against


to secure a place in the World Cup play-offs following a second-round loss against reigning European champions Portugal at Euro 2016. During the qualifiers, Croatia's performances have steadily deteriorated, but at a time of crisis, Dalic provided stability in the turbulent Croatia camp and a delightful moment of last-ditch improvisation against Ukraine.

Despite this, Dalic did not make many changes to Cacic's tactical lineup, nor did he commit his predecessor's fatal flaw of having a too close relationship with his players. Cacic was never a buddy or a coach like Dalic.

In many respects, he was the ideal fit for this remarkable Croatian generation. Dalic, a close friend of Croatian football's "Mr Big," Zdravko Mamic, was not per se an insider among the entanglements and intricacies of Croatia's FA divisions and constant mass criticism by media and fans alike. To educate himself and get international experience, he has coached in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“I've always chosen the more difficult route and had to fight for everything on my own,” Dalic said during a press conference. “I didn't want to remain in Croatia and work as a mediocre coach on handouts. When I couldn't find work in the United States, I moved overseas.

We are not well-liked in Europe, despite the fact that Croatian coaches have excellent success. They search for brand names in Europe and Asia. I began at a tiny club called Varteks, where I told them about huge money, big names, and big blunders.”

Zlatko Dalic quotes

Zlatko Dalic once said about his position as Croatia coach and the money he’s getting as the manager of the national team, “Whether you like it or not, I am the world's second-best coach. And this number of $5 million per year for the world's second [best] coach is insufficient.”

He added, “Look, money is essential to everyone, but it isn't my primary motivation. My contract has two years remaining on it, and I think I'll be able to continue with the team for that long.

I cannot tolerate individuals who have kicked the ball twice in their lives and decide on my place on the Croatian bench. I'm self-sufficient and unburdened, but I can't allow anybody toy with my freedom and then attempt to fire me in two months.”

About being hired at the late stages of qualifying phase and making in through the finals of 2018 World cup, he has said: “I have to award the players full credit. Because I didn't have a lot of time for practice and planning, I concentrated on meetings, communication, and inspiration instead.

We tweaked certain tactical elements, but the most essential thing was for the players to understand that this was their final opportunity to qualify for the World Cup – and they rose to the occasion.”

About his experience in the Middle East, he once said, "In one year, I was the greatest coach in Asia. A year later, I became the manager of Al Hilal. The Crown Prince Cup was won by me. Then there's Al Ain. I won a championship, then the Asian Champions League semi-finals and finals. That's not anything we can sneeze at. This is a significant tournament. I spent seven years working there.”

He continued, “I made a name for myself, which was the difficult part, but I believed in myself. I never questioned myself when Croatia phoned; I knew we had excellent names and that I could accomplish it.

Unlike other managers in Europe who may be granted a club simply because of their name, nothing was handed to me on a silver platter. There are excellent Croatian managers in Europe, such as Nico Kovac of

Bayern Munich

and Slaven Bilic of

Real Madrid

, demonstrating that we know what we're doing.”

Zlatko Dalic social media


Zlatko Dalic social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (


) with 287k followers. In the page we can see various pictures of him with the team and his family.

He also has a Twitter account (


) with 55k followers. He rarely posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Zlatko Dalic body measurements

Speaking about

Zlatco Dalic body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the Croatian coach is 5 ft 10 in (179 cm) and weighs 165 lbs (76 kg).

Zlatko Dalic net worth and salary

Zlatko Dalic has been a part of the football world for nearly four decades, first as a player and later as a coach. He has amassed a sizable fortune as a result of his successful profession.

At the list of annual salaries for national team managers in the 2018 World Cup, Zlatko Dalic was ranked 23rd with a salary of €550,000. With a yearly salary of 3,850,000 euros, Germany coach Joachim Low was at the top of the list.

Zlatko Dalic net worth

is estimated to be $5 million in 2021.

The Dalic family has a house in Drava where they spend their spare time relaxing and getting away from work. They also throw parties and get-togethers for their friends, family, relatives, and others.

After Croatia finished second in the FIFA World Cup 2018, hosted in Russia, they began to invite journalists and other media celebrities, as well as individuals from Croatia's public life, to the property.

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