Branko Oblak

Branko Oblak

Football player infobox
playername = Branko Oblak

fullname =
nickname =
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1947|5|27
cityofbirth = Ljubljana
SR Slovenia
countryofbirth = SFR Yugoslavia
dateofdeath =
cityofdeath =
countryofdeath =
position = Midfielder
youthyears =
youthclubs =
years = 1965 - 1973
1973 - 1975
1975 - 1977
clubs = Olimpija Ljubljana
NK Hajduk Split
FC Schalke 04
FC Bayern Munich
SV Spittal
caps(goals) =
nationalyears = 1970-1977
nationalteam = Yugoslavia
nationalcaps(goals) = 46 (6)
manageryears = 1994-1995
managerclubs = Olimpija Ljubljana
Olimpija Ljubljana
Olimpija Ljubljana
Slovenia U-21

Branko Oblak (born on May 27, 1947 in Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia) is a Slovenian football coach and former international player.

Brane, as he is often known, started playing football at the youth team of Svoboda Ljubljana. In 1965 he went to Ljubljana's more famous club, Olimpija. He made his debut on May 20, 1966 against Partizan in Belgrade, where he scored both Olimpija's goals for a 1:2 win. He stayed with Olimpija until 1973. During that time he played 181 matches and scored 33 goals.

In 1973 he moved to Hajduk Split and stayed there for two seasons. In both seasons Hajduk won the national champion and cup winner titles. In 1975 he signed a two-year contract with Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga. In the 1976-77 season, Oblak's second year at the club, Schalke 04 finished the league in 2nd place, behind Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the summer of 1977, Oblak went to Bayern Munich. He stayed there for three seasons and in his final season with the club (1979-80), Bayern became the German champion. After that, Oblak played in various Austrian amateur clubs until 1987, when he retired as a football player.

Oblak's debut for the Yugoslav national team came in a friendly match against Romania in 1971. The following year he had the honour of playing at Pelé's farewell match at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. At the 1974 World Cup in Germany, he and his teammate Danilo Popivoda became the first Slovenians to play in a World Cup. Even more impressive is that Oblak was selected into the best squad of the World Cup. In 1976 he played at the European Championship, which was hosted by Yugoslavia. His excellent pass for the first goal in the semi final match against Germany is still remembered among football experts. After the tournament, he retired from international football. In altogether 46 matches he scored 6 goals.

After retirement as a football player, Oblak started coaching at various Slovenian clubs, including twice at Olimpija Ljubljana. He proved to be a good youth coach, so in February 2004 he was named the new Slovenia Under-21 national coach. In May 2004, Slovenian national team head coach Bojan Prašnikar was fired due to bad results and on May 24 2004 Oblak was chosen to replace him. The team started brightly under his guidance, with the highlight being a 1:0 over Italy (eventual World Champions) in a World Cup qualifying match. However, the team soon ran into a series of bad results, and the pressure mounted on Oblak, until finally in late 2006, he was fired from the job. He was succeeded by Matjaž Kek.

In November 2003 UEFA member football associations organized surveys to find the best national players in 50 year period of existence of UEFA. In Slovenia Branko Oblak was awarded this title, "beating" such rivals as Srečko Katanec and Zlatko Zahovič.

External links

* [ - Slovenia's Golden Player]
* [ Profile at Serbian federation]

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