Zlatko Zahovic (born February 1, 1971) is a Slovenian football
Zlatko was born in Maribor, Slovenia. He started his career at
the youth team of Kovinar Maribor. In 1989 he was noticed by a
well known Yugoslav football player Milko Ðurovski (who at that
time was doing military service in Maribor). He then played for
Partizan, Belgrade (1989-1993), including loan spells at
Proleter, Zrenjanin (1990-1991); Vitória Guimarães (1993-1996),
FC Porto (1996-1999), Olympiakos, Piraeus (1999-2000), Valencia
(2000-2001) and Benfica, Lisbon (from 2001 onwards).
His best performances came during his time at Porto. In 2001 his
team Valencia reached the Champions League finals, but lost
after apenalty shootout against the German champions Bayern
Munich. Zlatko 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 European Championship 2000 in
Belgium and the Netherlands, where Zlatko played very well,
scoring three of Slovenia's four goals.
Slovenia also managed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan
and South Korea but Zlatko had a very serious argument with the
Slovenian national coach Srecko Katanec and he was sent home
immediately after the first match against Spain.
Srecko Katanec resigned immediately after the World Cup, so
Zlatko returned to the national team. He played what was
probably his last national team match on April 28, 2004 against
Switzerland. Altogether he played 78 matches for the national
team and scored 35 goals, thus making him the most successful
Slovenian soccer player after Slovenian independence.
Zlatko is infamous for his numerous arguments, the one with
Srecko Katanec being just the most famous. Soon after at
Olympiakos 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 Hector Cupér, 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, which will probably be his last club.