Abu Dhabi Al Ain club announced on Saturday the appointment of Croatian Zlatko Dalic as their head coach, replacing Spaniard Quique Flores.
Dalic, who signed a contract last week to supervise the club’s youth and junior teams, will start his job leading the team against Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia in the AFC Champions League match in Jeddah on Wednesday.
“The time is right. Zlatko knows a great deal about the Saudi clubs and he will use this knowledge to lead the team in the match,” said Shaikh Abdulla Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, the chairman of the club’s board of directors. Zlatko was in charge of Al Hilal, a Saudi Arabian club in Riyadh, last year.
Dalic, who played as a defensive midfielder, hung up his boots on 2000 after playing for Hajduk Split, Dinamo Vinkovci, Velez Mostar and Varteks where he started his coaching career in 2005. He then shifted to coach the Croatia Under-21 team as an assistant coach before taking charge of Rijeka in 2007, Dinamo Tirana in 2008, Slovan Belupo in 2009 and Al Faisaly in 2010.
He was then in charge of Al Hilal as a youth coach in 2012 before coaching the senior team for five months from January to May, 2013.