Kek as Slovenia manager in 2009
|Full name||Matja? Kek|
|Date of birth||9 September 1961|
|Place of birth||
Maribor, PR Slovenia,|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Kek started his football career at his home club ?elezni?ar Maribor in 1979, before moving to another Maribor-based team, NK Maribor, in 1980. In 1985, he joined the Austrian club Spittal/Drau, where he spent three seasons. He then transferred to another Austrian club, GAK of the Austrian Bundesliga where he played for seven years. After that, he returned to Maribor, where between 1995 and 1999 he won three Slovenian league titles, before retiring. Overall, Kek made 280 appearances for Maribor in all competitions over the span of eleven seasons. He spent most of his career playing in defense, mostly in the centre-back position and was known for his leadership abilities.
After finishing his career as a player, Kek stayed at Maribor, serving as an assistant manager for one season, before being appointed as manager in March 2000 after Bojan Pra?nikar left the club. He immediately won the league title in the 1999-2000 season. He resigned in September 2000 after a 3-1 defeat against Korotan Prevalje. In October 2001, Kek returned to Maribor as an interim manager after Ivo ?u?ak resigned. A couple weeks later, he was moved to the assistant manager position after Bojan Pra?nikar took over the managerial role. In September 2002, he once again became a manager of the team, and won the league title in the 2002-03 season. Kek was sacked by the team on 20 September 2004 after a string of poor results.
Between 2006 and 2007, Kek was the head coach of the Slovenian under-15 and under-16 national teams. On 3 January 2007, Kek was appointed manager of the Slovenia national team, which he led to the 2010 FIFA World Cup after beating Russia in the play-off. On 24 October 2011, after the unsuccessful UEFA Euro 2012 qualifications, Kek and the Football Association of Slovenia came to a mutual agreement on the early termination of his contract. He was succeeded by Slavi?a Stojanovi?.
On 20 December 2011, Kek became the head coach of Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad, however, his brief encounter with the Arabian football finished abruptly when he was sacked less than two months later, on 8 February 2012.
On 27 February 2013, after more than a year without contract, Kek took over Croatian top division club HNK Rijeka. He led Rijeka to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. In the 2016-17 season, Kek led Rijeka to their first-ever championship title and the historic double. He also won the 2013-14 and 2016-17 editions of the Croatian Cup, as well as the 2014 Croatian Super Cup. In the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons of the Croatian First League, Rijeka finished as the runners-up. With over five years at the club, Kek holds numerous club records, including for most wins and appearances for a manager. On 24 October 2016, he became Rijeka's longest-serving manager by single appointment. In June 2017, Kek signed a new three-year contract with Rijeka, which ties him with the club until June 2020. On 7 September 2017, Kek became the longest-serving manager by single appointment in the history of the Croatian First Football League. He resigned on 6 October 2018 after a 2-1 defeat against HNK Gorica.
On 27 November 2018, Kek was appointed as the manager of Slovenia for the second time in his career, replacing caretaker manager Igor Benedej?i?. He managed the team in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, where Slovenia finished in fourth place with four wins out of ten games.
|Slovenia||3 January 2007||24 October 2011||49||20||9||20||40.82|
|Al-Ittihad||20 December 2011||8 February 2012||11||3||2||6||27.27|
|Rijeka||27 February 2013||6 October 2018||275||164||66||45||59.64|
|Slovenia||27 November 2018||Present||10||4||2||4||40.00|