Zlatko Dalić

Zlatko Dalić

Dalić coaching Al-Ain in 2015
Personal information
Full name Zlatko Dalić
Date of birth (1966-10-26) 26 October 1966
Place of birth Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder[1]
Club information
Current team
Al-Ain (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1986 Hajduk Split 3 (0)
1986–1987 Dinamo Vinkovci
1988–1991 Velež Mostar
1992–1996 Varteks 108 (13)
1996–1998 Hajduk Split 28 (1)
1998Varteks (loan) 11 (1)
1998–2000 Varteks 36 (3)
Teams managed
2005–2007 Varteks
2006-2011 Croatia U-21 (assistant coach)
2007–2008 Rijeka
2008–2009 Dinamo Tirana
2009–2010 Slaven Belupo
2010–2012 Al-Faisaly Harmah
2012–2013 Al-Hilal B
2013 Al-Hilal
2014– Al-Ain

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Zlatko Dalić (born 26 October 1966 in Livno[1]) is Croatian football coach. Dalić was also a professional football player who played as defensive midfielder. He currently manages Al Ain FC.

He previously worked with Dražen Ladić in Croatia national under-21 football team on position of assistant coach. He was also head coach of Al-Hilal.

Coaching career

NK Varteks Varaždin

After he ended with his playing career back in 2000. he becomes assistant coach in NK Varteks.
From May 2002. until May 2005. he works on the function of sports director in NK Varteks and simultaneously in season 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 he works as assistant coach for Miroslav Blažević in NK Varteks.

In May 2005. he becomes first coach of NK Varteks Varaždin and within the first season he wons the third place in First Croatian Football Division and he competes in the finals of Croatian National Cup. Two matches were played. In the first leg of the finals, which was played in Rijeka, NK Varteks Varaždin lost 4:0 to HNK Rijeka. Then in the second leg, NK Varteks Varaždin nearly created a sensation with 5:1 win, but they were one goal short from lifting the silverware.[2]

Croatia national under-21 football team

From 2006. he takes over the function of assistant coach in Croatian national under-21 football team.

NK Rijeka

In the summer of 2007., after the end of his contract with NK Varteks Varaždin he takes the position of the first coach in NK Rijeka. In the season 2007/2008 he won fourth place in First Croatian Football Division.

FC Dinamo Tirana

In the season of 2008/2009 Albanian champion Dinamo Tirana invites him to be a main coach. With Dinamo Tirana he won Albanian Supercup.

NK Slaven Belupo

After Dinamo Tirana he returns to Croatia and in season of 2009/2010 he leads another Croatian football club - NK Slaven Belupo.[3]

Al-Faisaly Harmah

In season of 2010/2011 he becomes the coach of the new competitor in Saudi Professional League - Al-Faisaly (Harmah). At the end of the season 2010/2011 Al-Faisaly (Harmah) had the greatest achievement in club history - they qualified to King Cup in Saudi Professional League.[4]

He was elected as best coach in Saudi Professional League in season 2010/2011 by Al Riyadh newspapers.[5] He won the first place among the big coach names such as Gabriel Calderón, Walter Zenga and Eric Gerets.

Al-Hilal Riyadh

On 3 May 2012 Zlatko sign contract with Al-Hilal to manage Al-Hilal B. On 31 January Al-Hilal agreed with Zlatko to coach the first club following the sacking of Antoine Kombouaré. On 9 February 2013 Zlatko made his debut with Al-Hilal against his old club Al-Faisaly Harmah in semi final of 2012–13 Saudi Crown Prince Cup, finally Al-Hilal won this title in six times in the row and Zlatko won his second title in his coaching life. As a coach of Al Hilal, in March 2013 he was ranked 13th Coach in the world for that month.[6] During season 2013–14, he was main candidate for HNK Hajduk to be their sports director[7] but he refused the offer from one of the biggest club in First Croatian Football Division.

Al Ain FC

On 8 March 2014, he was appointed as first team coach in Al Ain FC after the club sacked Quique Flores.[8] Later on, he led Al Ain to finish as first team in AFC Champions League 2014 Group C, which was the first time since 2006 that club passed through group stage.
On 30 April 2014, Al Ain announced that Zlatko will be their first team coach for next two seasons.[9]
At the Round of 16 stage of AFC Champions League 2014, Al Ain FC played versus Al Jazira Club led by Walter Zenga and won both games with 2–1 results (4–2 on aggregate) and passed thru to quarter finals of the competition.

On 18 May 2014, Al Ain won the final game of UAE President's Cup against league champions Al Ahli 1–0, which was played at Zayed Sports City Stadium. This was Zlatko's second trophy in two years in the Middle East and third in his coaching career. This game marked an end of the season and it was Al Ain's twelfth match in a row without lost since Zlatko's arrival.

At the start of the second season in charge of Al Ain FC, Zlatko's team won both games in quarter finals of AFC Champions League 2014 with results 2-0 and 3-1 against Al Ittihad FC. In semifinals Al Ain lost the first match versus Zlatko's ex-club Al Hilal Al Saudi Club in King Fahd International Stadium with 3-0 result. On the second leg of the semifinals the result was 2-1 and Al Ain was left without finals.

At the end of the year Zlatko won the title of "Best Coach in 2014" by the analyist and critics of all major local Emirati newspapers. At the end of the first round of UAE Arabian Gulf League, Al Ain FC took the first position with one game in hand.[10]

On 6 May 2015 Al Ain FC ended the 2015 AFC Champions League group phase topping the Group B with 12 points, four points more than runner-up Naft Tehran F.C. without losing a single game. This was Zlatko's third consecutive year in AFC Champions League, and in all three times his team proceeded to playoff phase of the competition.

Al Ain FC won their 12th UAE Arabian Gulf League title in season 2014–15 UAE Pro-League which they secured three rounds before the end of the league. At the official end of the league, on 11 May they had 11 points more than runners-up Al Jazira Club and Al Shabab (Dubai). They have only lost two games in the whole season which means they were unbeaten in 23 league matches with an imposing goal difference of +43. In this season they took few achievements in the league - they have conceded the least goals, they had the longest unbeaten run counting 15 matches, longest winning run counting 8 matches and biggest home win versus Ajman Club 7-1.

On 12 July 2015 Zlatko was crowned with the "Coach of the Year" title during the UAE Arabian Gulf League Award ceremony for the 2014–15 UAE Pro-League season. Award ceremony was held in St. Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche.

As a part of the preseason preparation, Al Ain on 8 August played a match versus Wydad Casablanca in sold-out Stade Mohamed V. Match was part of the UAE-Morocco Supercup (also in Arabic media it was named Friendship Cup). Al Ain won the game after the penalty shoot-out, while regular time ended with score 3-3. Winner among the trophy also received 700.000 $ while runner-up received 300.000 $.

First match of the new 2015/2016 season was played on 15 August in Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It was a UAE Arabian Gulf Supercup match between last years league champions - Al Ain FC and winners of UAE President Cup - Al Nassr from Dubai. Al Ain won the match with the result 4-2. This was Zlatko's fourth trophy in Al Ain FC in two years as a coach.

With the 3 - 0 win against Al-Ahli Dubai F.C. in 10th round of UAE Arabian Gulf League on 5 December, Zlatko became the best coach in the league history since it turned professional.[11] After 12 rounds in new 2015/2016 season, Zlatko's led Al Ain FC in 70 games of which his team won 47, draw 15 and lost 8 matches which means that he hasn't lost a game in 88% of the matches.

On Football Database ranking,[12] Al Ain FC was ranked 335th club in the world with 1468 points in March 2014, but then, since Zlatko arrived - club was continuously climbing the rankings and as of December 2015, Al Ain is now 122nd club in the world with 1575 points. In less than two years, club climbed more than 200 places on the rankings and now it is the 5th best club in Asia according to the rankings.

Managerial statistics

Managerial record

As of match played 26 November 2016.
Team Nat From To Record
Al-Hilal Saudi Arabia February 2013 May 2013 18 11 3 4 61.113019+11
Al-Ain United Arab Emirates March 2014 Present 107 67 25 15 62.6221599+116


As a Manager

NK Varteks Varazdin
Dinamo Tirana
Al Ain


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