Slaven Bilic: ‘Ciro was the ideal coach for us!’

Published: 02.06.2016.

ćiro blažević, slaven bilić

Seven years ago The Guardian published an interview with Ciro Blazevic in which the author, Jonathan Wilson, complained that interviewing Ciro was a exhausting experience.

He described Ciro as a man who compliments you on a good question, only to shower you with harsh criticism for a bad one. He will curse at you, but it’s going to be hilarious; he has an opinion on everything and he’s not afraid to say it. The interview was accompanied by Ciro’s gesticulations and jumping on his feet to prove a point, like he was holding a speech. He even said he had not slept more than ten minutes a night that week, yet he was bursting with energy. Had the word ‘charismatic’ not been invented, they would soon have to invent the term ‘cirosmatic’.

This is how Jonathan Wilson wrote about his interview with Ciro Blažević when Ciro was the head coach of the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

They discussed the Croatian Bronze from the 1998 World Cup and Ciro’s award for best coach. The Guardian interview included a brief statement about Ciro’s coaching from one of The Blazers of the generation, and today’s West Ham United coach, Slaven Bilic:

I’m not saying he was a bad coach or a great coach but he was the ideal coach for us. He would gradually motivate you. He knows everyday in his head that he’s going to make a small incident to wake everybody up a bit, and then he’s going to do this, then he’s going to tell them to go out to a nightclub.

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The Blazers, 1998. foto:

Ciro’s true brilliance lies in his ability to motivate

At team meetings he’d be talking about, say, Estonia like it’s fucking Brazil. You know he’s lying; you know it isn’t true, but you say, fuck, yeah, it’s going to be hard. Or you’d be playing Argentina and he’d say, ‘Argentina, not a bad team, not a bad team, but none of their players play for the best teams in Europe’. So you’d look at him, and say ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ But it worked.”


Ciro Blazevic manages to be the life and soul of Bosnia’s party  is the title of Jonathan Wilsons brilliant article published in The Guardian on 9 September 2009. Make sure to take a look.