Srecko Katanec became manager in 1998 and has performed miracles to take a country with a population of just 1.9 million to its first European Championship and then its first World Cup.
Still only 38 - he is the youngest manager at the World Cup - he was capped 31 times for Yugoslavia before Slovenia gained independence 11 years ago.
Five caps followed for Slovenia at the tail end of his playing career.
Katanec became Under-21 coach in 1996 and a brief spell as Slovenian league side NK Gorica coach followed the next year.
The high point of his playing career was a five-year spell with Sampdoria in Italy. He also played for VfB Stuttgart in Germany.