Algeria Manager - Vahid Halilhodžić
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 05/2014
Date of birth
15 October 1952
Place of birth
Jablanica, FPR Yugoslavia
Velež Mostar: 1968–1971
Velež Mostar: 1971-1981
207x apps / 103x goals
→ Neretva (loan): 1971-1972
?x apps / ?x goals
163x apps / 92x goals
Paris Saint-Germain: 1986-1987
18x apps / 8x goals
388x apps / 203x goals
Yugoslavia U-21: 1975–1978
12x apps / 12x goals
15 apps / 8x goals
Velež Mostar: 1990-1992
Raja Casablanca: 1997-1998
Lille OSC: 1998-2002
Stade Rennais: 2002-2003
Paris Saint-Germain: 2003-2005
Ittihad Jeddah: 2006
Côte d'Ivoire: 2008-2010
Dinamo Zagreb: 2010-2011
Vahid Halilhodžić (born 15 October 1952), Knight of the Légion d'Honneur of the French Republic, is a former Bosnian football player and now a manager, currently managing the Algeria national football team.
Regarded as one of the best Bosnian players in the 1970s and 1980s Halilhodžić had successful playing spells with Velež Mostar, Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain before retiring in the mid-1980s.
He also appeared for the national team and was part of the squad which won the 1978 European Under-21 Championship before earning 15 full international caps for Yugoslavia.
In the early 1990s he began managing and, after a short managing stint at his hometown club Velež, permanently moved to France in 1993.
Since then he managed a number of teams in French-speaking countries and his achievements include winning the 1997 CAF Champions League with Moroccan side Raja Casablanca, leading the French side Lille OSC from second level to third place in Ligue 1 in less than three years, winning the 2004 Coupe de France with Paris Saint-Germain and qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Côte d'Ivoire and the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Algeria, respectively.
Early years and Velež - Born in Jablanica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Halilhodžić started playing football in his early teens at the local minnows' ground Turbina Jablanica, as it was located some 100 meters from his family home. According to his admission, he did not consider becoming a professional footballer at the time and instead chose to continue his formal education, moving to the nearby city of Mostar at the age of 14 to study at the local electrotechnical high school, without ever appearing for Turbina in an official match.
Nevertheless, it was in Mostar that he first started taking football seriously as he went on to join Yugoslav First League side Velež Mostar academy at the age of 16, in part on the insistence of his brother Salem, who at the time played for the club as a striker.
Halilhodžić then went on to play there at youth levels for the next two and a half years, and, upon signing a professional contract with the club, was sent on a six-month loan to second level side Neretva Metković to gain some experience.
Upon his return from loan, he quickly broke into the first-team squad in the 1972-73 season, forming a successful attacking partnership with Dušan Bajević and helping Velež finish the season as league runners-up behind powerhouse Red Star Belgrade.
Halilhodžić then went on to become one of the club's key players in the 1970s, appearing in a total of 376 matches and scoring 253 goals (including 207 appearances and 103 goals in the Yugoslav First League) before leaving the country in September 1981 to join French side Nantes Atlantique. Earlier that year he was instrumental in winning the club's first major silverware, scoring two goals in their 3:2 Yugoslav Cup final win against Željezničar.
Nantes and PSG
At Nantes Halilhodžić immediately became a first-team regular, scoring 7 goals in 28 appearances in the 1981–82 Division 1. The following season he helped Nantes win the French championship and was also the league's top scorer with 27 goals in 36 appearances. Halilhodžić went on to spend five years at La Beaujoire, appearing in a total of 163 league matches and scoring 92 goals for Nantes, also becoming league top scorer in the 1984–85 season with 28 goals.
In 1986 Halilhodžić decided to return to Mostar so he could spend more time with his father, who in the meantime fell seriously ill. While negotiating a new contract with Nantes, he intentionally asked for a salary bigger than anything the club could afford so that he could be released and return home. However, Francis Borelli, chairman of Paris Saint-Germain, stepped in and made him a "fantastic offer" to sign a one-year contract, with the intention of bringing Halilhodžić to Parc des Princes in order to strengthen the team for their upcoming 1986–87 European Cup campaign.
Halilhodžić accepted the offer and went on to appear for the club in the first 18 games of the 1986-87 season, scoring 8 goals. However, his mother died during the season, and it was then that Halilhodžić decided to finally retire from active football.
In 1997 he started to train Raja Casablanca, the biggest Moroccan club. In two years, he won the Moroccan Championship and the African Champions League. These successes raised his international profile.
In October 1998 he began to coach Lille OSC, which at the time was struggling to survive in the French second league. During the season 1999-2000, Lille OSC abruptly smashed the second league. Immediately during its first season in the French Ligue 1, Lille OSC arrived 3rd and thus qualified for the European Champions League.
He became very famous in France because of his professionalism and tactical science, and was bestowed the nickname of "Coach Vahid". After finishing 5th in the 2001-2002 season, "Coach Vahid" decided to quit the club due to a lack of ambition of its directors.
In November 2002, he was recruited in order to rescue the French club Stade Rennais, which he did. He started to become one of the most sought after coaches in Europe, and whilst being sought by some German and Spanish clubs, joined Paris Saint Germain in Summer 2003.
Paris Saint Germain
During his first season at the helm of Paris Saint Germain, the club realised one of the greatest and most unexpected seasons in its history by winning the French Cup and arriving second in the Championship (thus qualifying for the Champions League), just behind Olympique Lyonnais. Unfortunately Halilhodžić's second season was not that successful and he was fired in February 2005 while the team was ranked 7th in the Championship.
From October 2005 to June 2006, he moved to Turkey in order to coach Trabzonspor. The club finished in 4th place, just behind the three big clubs from Istanbul; Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe. Although the team qualified for the UEFA Cup, he decided to quit Turkey.
Côte d'Ivoire national team
In May 2008 he was recruited to train the very ambitious Côte d'Ivoire national team. In a two-year unbeaten run in qualifiers, the team reached both the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. However, during the quarter finals of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations against Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire were eliminated during extra time. The disappointment was huge among the people in Côte d'Ivoire, for whom the national football team played a central social role. In addition, the country was at that period facing a significant political crisis. As a consequence of this instability, Vahid Halilhodžić was fired four months before the start of the World Cup.
On 16 August 2010 he was announced as the new coach of Dinamo Zagreb, signing two and a half-year long contract. He came in as replacement for Velimir Zajec who just got fired after the team was eliminated from the Champions League qualifying after losing on penalties to Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol.
Right away, club fans took to Halilhodžić as Dinamo started playing attractive and a more attacking style of football. On 16 September, exactly one month after signing his contract, he led Dinamo to a somewhat improbable 2:0 victory over Villarreal at the start of the Europa League, which enhanced Halilhodžić's reputation in Zagreb.
However, despite some encouraging results, Dinamo failed to qualify for the next stage in the European competition, losing the deciding match in December at home against PAOK. Despite the setback, Halilhodžić stayed on due to support of both the fans and club management.
In the domestic league, the club was a runaway leader without any real competition. Towards the end of the season, issues arose over the renegotiation of terms of his contract and on 6 May 2011 he left the club following a vicious shouting incident with Dinamo's executive president Zdravko Mamić in the team dressing room during halftime of the league match between Dinamo and Inter Zaprešić.
Algeria national team
On 22 June 2011, the Algerian Football Federation announced that Halilhodžić would take over the vacant Algeria national team manager position starting on 1 July.
On 2 July, the nomination was made official with Halilhodžić signing a three-year contract.
On 14 November 2012, Algeria invited Bosnia and Herzegovina (Halilhodžić's country of birth) for a friendly match. Algeria lost 0:1 in 90+3' on a rainy night in Algiers.
On 19 November 2013, Algeria secured a spot at 2014 FIFA World Cup having beaten a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up Burkina Faso 3:3 on aggregate (away goals rule), during CAF Third Round play-offs.