Ljubljana – Legendary Croatian footballer and manager Robert Prosinečki has officially taken over as the new coach of Ljubljana’s biggest football club Olimpija, as confirmed by the club on Tuesday. During his playing career, Prosinečki was member of some of the greatest clubs in world football.
“After a series of unconvincing performances and results, Olimpija Ljubljana decided for a change on the bench. Now we can present the new coach to the public with utmost pride and satisfaction,” the football club said in a press release.
“It is not every day that such a great football name comes to Slovenia. We had the opportunity and we took it,” added representatives of Olimpija.
Robert Prosinečki is widely regarded as one of the best players in Croatia’s football history, being one of the few footballers to have played for the largest clubs and rivals in Spain, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
During his successful career that spanned almost 20 years, Prosinečki also played for Sevilla, Standard Liège, Portsmouth, Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade. He also represented Croatia at Euro 1996 and two World Cups, in 1998 and 2002.
It was at the 1998 World Cup that Prosinečki and the Croatian squad managed a historic third-place finish, with Prosinečki scoring two goals. As a result, he is the only player in history to score goals at the World Cup for two different national teams, as he also scored for Yugoslavia in 1990.
Towards the end of his playing career, Prosinečki enjoyed a short spell at Olimpija Ljubljana, where he won the Slovenian national cup trophy in 2003. That was his last trophy as a player, and he scored a goal in the final.
Prosinečki now returns to Olimpija as a manager, having previously led Red Star Belgrade, three Turkish clubs, and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s national team, among others. He has signed a contract until the end of the 2023/24 season.
Prosinečki will be introduced to the public in his new role at a press conference on Wednesday. After that, he will lead the team in his first training session, while the opening match awaits him on 3 April, after the international break.
In his first statement, the new coach said that “it is really nice to be back in Ljubljana. The feeling is very good, I’m coming to a club I know well. I also know Ljubljana well and I’m really looking forward to the adventure ahead of me.”
Prosinečki has very fond memories of Olimpija. “We played good football … and I made some very good friends. It is because of them that I kept returning to Ljubljana many times,” he told the website of Olimpija Ljubljana.
“Olimpija is a club that always has great, high ambition, and my vision corresponds to this. I want to see a team at work that will play offensive-minded, likeable and successful football. A team that will dominate the pitch.”
Olimpija is currently third in Slovenia’s First League after 28 rounds played, seven points behind leader Maribor and four points behind second-placed Koper.