Darko Milanič

Darko Milanič
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-12-18) 18 December 1967
Place of birth Izola, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Maribor (Head Coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1993 Partizan 94 (2)
1993–2000 Sturm Graz 190 (10)
Total 284 (12)
National team
1991–1992 Yugoslavia 5 (0)
1992–2000 Slovenia 42 (0)
Teams managed
2004–2006 Primorje
2007–2008 Gorica
2008–2013 Maribor
2013–2014 Sturm Graz
2014 Leeds United
2016– Maribor

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

Darko Milanič (born 18 December 1967) is a football head coach and retired Slovenian football defender. He is currently a head coach of Maribor in the Slovenian PrvaLiga. He is a former head coach of Austrian Bundesliga side Sturm Graz.

As a player he represented both Yugoslavia and Slovenia at international level. He also captained Slovenia at UEFA Euro 2000.

Playing career

Born in Izola, Milanič began his football career with local side Izola. At 17 he was signed by Partizan in Belgrade, where he became a notable defender. During his time at Partizan he won the Yugoslav First League and the Yugoslav Cup twice.

After the 1992–93 season he moved to the Austrian side Sturm Graz. He played there successfully for eight years and won eight trophies including two Austrian Bundesliga titles, three Austrian Cups and three Austrian Supercups with the Austrian club.

He retired as a player at the age of 32 due to injury and to pursue a coaching career in football.[1][2]

International career

During his spell at Partizan he earned five caps for Yugoslavia.[3] After the split of Yugoslavia in 1991, Milanič decided to represent Slovenia.

He also earned 42 caps for Slovenia, was the captain of the national team, and represented and Captained his country at the Euro 2000 championship, this also included Captaining Slovenia in a 3–3 draw during Euro 2000 Group C clash against the national side he used to play for Yugoslavia.[4]

Coaching career

After his football career, he turned to coaching. He started his coaching career at his hometown club Izola. After that, he was appointed Manager of Primorje and an assistant coach in SK Sturm Graz under Franco Foda during the 2006–07 season.


At the start of the 2007–08 season he was appointed head coach of Gorica, where he helped guide them to a third-place finish in the Slovenian PrvaLiga; they were however knocked out of the UEFA Cup after losing over two legs to Rabotnički.


On 1 June 2008 he was appointed as the head coach of Maribor by Director of Football Zlatko Zahovič.[5] He won the Slovenian PrvaLiga during his first year in the 2008–09 season. In May 2010, Maribor won the Slovenian Cup. After winning this trophy, Darko Milanič became the first coach that have won all three domestic trophies in Slovenian club football, having won the Slovenian League and the Slovenian Supercup before that.[6] He has achieved that in only two seasons.

At the beginning of the 2012–13 season, Maribor played in their fourth successive Supercup final. The match was played on 8 July 2012 at the Ljudski vrt stadium. Unlike in the previous two seasons, when the club finished as the runners-up, they managed to win it this time, beating their "eternal rivals" Olimpija 2–1.[7] This was their second Supercup title.

In 2012, he was selected as the Slovenian manager of the year, winning the league, cup and supercup.[8]

Milanič led Maribor to the group stages of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League as one of the losers in the play-off round of the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Dinamo Zagreb.[9][10] This was the second season in a row, in which Maribor qualified to the Europa League main stages. They managed to get four points this time,[11] defeating Panathinaikos[12] and drawing with Tottenham Hotspur,[13] both at home. On 9 November 2012, Maribor suffered a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur after a hatrick by Jermain Defoe.[14] Still with a chance of finishing as Runner Up in the final game of Group J, Maribor suffered a 4-1 defeat to Lazio which saw Maribor eliminated.[15]

Maribor confirmed their 11th league title on 11 May 2013, when they defeated their eternal rivals Olimpija 2–1.[16] They again defeated Celje in the 2013 Cup Final, securing their fourth Double in the history.[17]

Sturm Graz

On 4 June 2013, he became Head Coach of Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga, with Novica Nikčević as his assistant. One of his first signings was Striker Robert Berić whom he signed from former club NK Maribor. Sturm Graz were knocked out of the Europa League after losing 1–0 on aggregate in the Second Qualifying round to Breiðablik UBK.[18] He led his side to a fifth-place finish during his first season during the 2013–14 season.

On 21 September 2014, during a press conference, Sturm Graz revealed that Milanič would be leaving the club to join English side Leeds United after agreeing to buy out his contract at Sturm Graz to make the move.[19][20]

Leeds United

On 23 September 2014, Milanič was appointed as manager of Leeds United on a two-year deal replacing previous manager Dave Hockaday, he was joined at Leeds by his SK Sturm Graz Assistant Novica Nikčević.[21] Milanič appointment meant he also became the first non-British or Irish manager to be in charge of Leeds in their entire history.[22] Milanič parted company on 25 October 2014, minutes after a 2–1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers,[23] just 32 days after taking over, for failing to win any of his six games in charge.[24]

Managerial statistics

As of 3 December 2016[25]

Includes matches in league, cup, supercup, and UEFA competitions.

Team Nat Year Record
Primorje Slovenia 2004–2006 63 24 15 24 38.10
Gorica Slovenia 2007–2008 38 15 9 14 39.47
Maribor Slovenia 2008–2013 248 138 61 49 55.65
Sturm Graz Austria 2013–2014 53 21 12 20 39.62
Leeds United England 2014 6 0 3 3 00.00
Maribor Slovenia 2016–present 45 25 14 6 55.56
Career total 453 223 114 116 49.23



Sturm Graz[28]



See also


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Darko Milanič.
  1. "Leeds United: Darko Milanic tipped to become new manager". BBC Sport. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  2. "Leeds United: Milanic to be named United head coach tomorrow". Yorkshire Evening Post. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  3. Players Appearing for Two or More Countries
  4. "Milošević stars as Yugoslavia beat the odds". Uefa Official Site. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 6 October 2003.
  5. http://www.ekipa.org/2012/05/pustimo-podrobnosti-ostajam/
  6. http://www.ekipa.org/index.php?p=nd&i=10010&cc=1
  7. "Maribor superpokal obdržal doma" [Maribor kept Supercup trophy at home] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  8. http://www.nkmaribor.com/novice/?id=4739
  9. "Minimalen poraz Maribora, ki napoveduje srhljivko v Ljudskem vrtu" [Minimal defeat for Maribor] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  10. "Maribor si je zobe znova polomil ob slovenskem rablju z Maksimira" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  11. "Štiri točke so realnost" (in Slovenian). Nogomania. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  12. "3:0! Maribor osupnil Evropo in prevzel kar vrh lestvice" [3:0! Maribor astonished the Europe and took the top place] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  13. "Maribor naredil težak izpit z veliko točko" [Maribor passed difficult exam with a big point] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  14. "Tottenham 3 - Maribor 1". BBC Sport. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  15. "Four-goal Lazio leave Maribor as Group J winners". UEFA.Com. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  16. "Berić zadel za noro noč v štajerski prestolnici" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. 11 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  17. "Maribor na (kratke) počitnice z dvojno krono" [Maribor on short holidays with the double crown] (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  18. http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1976241.html
  19. "Leeds United: Milanic to be named United head coach tomorrow". Yorkshire Evening Post. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  20. "Leeds United makes move for manager Darko Milanic". NBC. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  21. "UNITED CONFIRM DARKO MILANIC". Leeds United Official Website. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  22. "Darko Milanic confirmed as Leeds United manager after signing two-year deal". Daily Mail. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  23. "Leeds 1 Wolverhampton 2". BBC Sport. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  24. "Darko Milanic: Leeds United part company with head coach". www.bbc.co.uk/. BBC Sport. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  25. "Darko Milanic". footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  26. "Darko Milanic – emotional man". FK Partizan Belgrade official website. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  27. "Trophies". FK Partizan Belgrade official website. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  28. "Nationale Titel" (in German). SK Sturm Graz official website. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  29. "Leeds: Massimo Cellino confirms Darko Milanic is new boss". BBC Sport. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.

External links

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