Zlatko Zahovič (listen (help·info) ; born February 1, 1971) was a very gifted former Slovenian football player.
Arguably the most illustrious Slovenian football player, Zahovič was born in Maribor, Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia. He started his career at the youth team of Kovinar Maribor. In 1989 he was noticed by a well known Yugoslav football player Milko Đurovski (who at that time was doing military service in Maribor). He then played for Partizan Belgrade, (1989-1993), including a loan at Proleter, Zrenjanin (1990-1991); Vitória Guimarães (1993-1996), FC Porto (1996-1999), Olympiacos (1999-2000), Valencia (2000-2001) and Benfica (2001-2005).
In 2001 his team Valencia were very strong and reached the competition finals, but lost after a penalty shootout against the German champions Bayern Munich. Zahovič was one of the unfortunate penalty takers to miss; to be more precise, Oliver Kahn superbly saved his very well aimed shot.
His first match for the Slovenian national team was on November 7, 1992 at a friendly match against Cyprus. The Slovenian national team qualified for the 2000 European Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands, where Zahovič played very well, scoring three of Slovenia's four goals.
Slovenia also managed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan but Zahovič had a very serious argument with the Slovenian national coach Srečko Katanec and he was sent home immediately after the first match against Spain. Katanec resigned immediately after the World Cup, so Zahovič returned to the national team. He played what was probably his last national team match on April 28, 2004 against Switzerland. Altogether he played 80 matches (a record) for the national team and scored 35 goals (also a record), thus making him the most successful Slovenian football player since their independence in 1991 and the inception of the country's football association into FIFA in 1992.
Zahovič is infamous for his numerous arguments, the one with Srečko Katanec being just the most infamous. Soon after at Olympiacos he had an argument with the management and he left the club before the season was over. He also had an argument with Valencia coach Héctor Cúper, believing that he was not being given enough opportunities. Nevertheless, he played for Valencia till the end of the 2001 season when he moved to Benfica, who he left in the middle of the 2004/2005 season, retiring shortly afterwards.

[edit] Honours

FC Porto:
SL Benfica:
Valencia CF:
Zlatko Zahovič Personal information Date of birth February 1, 1971 (1971-02-01) (age 36) Place of birth Maribor, SFR Yugoslavia Playing position Attacking midfielder Senior clubs1 Years Club App (Gls)* 1989-1990
2001-2005 FK Partizan
Proleter Zrenjanin (loan)
FK Partizan
Vitória de Guimarães
F.C. Porto
Valencia CF
S.L. Benfica
Total 9 (1)
25 (0)
28 (5)
73 (13)
74 (27)
14 (7)
20 (3)
80 (14)
323 (70) National team 1992-2004 Slovenia 80 (35)

Zlatko war der beste Slowene den unser Team je hatte.