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Srecko Katanec




It is no surprise that Katanec was the man to guide Slovenia out of the footballing wilderness.

In his playing days only briefly did he ply his trade within the region of his birth, for Olimpija Ljubljiana.

After spells in Croatia and Serbia - then all part of the Yugoslav federation - he joined Stuttgart before moving on to Sampdoria.

He is, therefore, ideally placed to impart his worldly wisdom on his charges.

Accounts of his success with Serie A giants Sampdoria would have been legendary back home.

He was part of the squad that won, among other trophies, the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1990 and were league champions the following year.

Eventually he returned home, initially as coach of the national under-21 squad. A brief stint in charge of league side Gorica followed between 1997-98 but, after Slovenia had failed to reach the World Cup finals, Katanec stepped up to the national side.

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