Former captain Barbarez named new Bosnia coach for 'personality'

football19 April 2024 23:00| © AFP
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Sergej Barbarez © Getty Images

Former captain Sergej Barbarez was appointed on Friday as head coach of the Bosnia national team despite having no previous experience.

He was chosen for the job above all because of his "personality", the president of the Football Federation Vico Zeljkovic explained.

"We consider that the harmony (that Barbarez can bring to the team), his energy and authority can be crucial factors in getting the national team back on track for success," he added.

Barbarez, 52, succeeds Savo Milosevic who led the Bosnian team for only seven months, but failed to qualify for Euro 2024.

According to Zeljkovic, Barbarez will sign a four-year contract with one goal in mind, for Bosnia to qualify for the World Cup 2026.

"We arrive with great pride and a great desire to do good things," said Barbarez, introducing in particular his sporting director Emir Spahic, another former Bosnian captain.

Bosnia and Herzegovina have until now only qualified for one major tournament – the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Barbarez made 47 appearances for the Bosnia national team and scored 17 goals.

He started his career for Velez from his hometown Mostar, but shone in the Bundesliga where he played for Hannover, Rostock (1996-98), Dortmund (1998-2000), Hamburg (2000-06) and Leverkusen (2006-08).

He ended his career in 2008 with 330 matches in the league and was top-scorer in 2000-01 season with 22 goals.