Dražen Besek

Dražen Besek (born 10 March 1963) is a Croatian coach and former professional football midfield player, who last managed Maltese side Birkirkara. As a player he was mainly remembered for his time with Croatian teams Varteks and Dinamo Zagreb before moving abroad and appearing for clubs in France, Denmark and Austria. After his playing career ended he went into management, and had several coaching spells at his hometown football club Varteks, before moving abroad again and joining Polish side Zagłębie Lubin, Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua and many others.

Dražen Besek
Personal information
Date of birth (1963-03-10) 10 March 1963 (age 57)
Place of birth Varaždin, Yugoslavia
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Shanghai Shenhua U15
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1984 Varteks 31 (2)
1984–1985 Olimpija Ljubljana 17 (2)
1985–1991 Dinamo Zagreb 130 (17)
1991–1993 Stade de Vallauris
1993 Ikast FS 17 (1)
1994-1996 Varteks 53 (5)
1996–1997 Casino Salzburg 11 (0)
1997–1999 Varteks 33 (2)
Teams managed
1998–1999 Varteks (player-manager)
2000 Čakovec
2001–2002 Slaven Belupo
2002–2003 Varteks
2004–2005 Zagłębie Lubin
2007 Drava Ptuj
2007–2009 Varteks
2010 Shanghai Shenhua (assistant)
2011 China U23 (assistant)
2011 Shanghai Shenhua
2012 NK Zagreb
2013 Hunan Billows
2014 Wuhan Zall
2015 Tianjin Songjiang
2015 Osijek
2015–2016 Birkirkara FC
2018– Shanghai Shenhua U15
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club careerEdit

Besek played for Dinamo Zagreb in the Yugoslav First League. Later he joined French Stade de Vallauris, Danish Ikast FS (now called FC Midtjylland) and Austrian SV Casino Salzburg (now called FC Red Bull Salzburg), but mostly played for Varteks in the Croatian First Football League[1]

Coaching careerEdit

Besek would return to his hometown football club of Varteks as a player-coach within the Croatian 1998–99 Prva HNL league season and guided the club to a fifth spot at the end of the campaign. This was followed by a brief spell at second tier club Čakovec before he returned to another top tier club with Slaven Belupo where in the 2001–02 Prva HNL where he guided them to a respectable sixth.[2] This saw Varteks interested in his services again where within the 2002–03 Prva HNL campaign he aided them to an improved third at the end of the season before Besek made his first move abroad with Polish club Zagłębie Lubin.

After a disappointing time in Poland he joined top tier Slovenian club Drava Ptuj for a brief period before returning to Varteks for the third time as a manager.[3] On 26 December 2009 Besek decided to leave the club on mutual consent after accepting a position from top tier Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua where he was an assistant coach to Miroslav Blažević. After his one-year contract with the club expired he followed Blažević to become an assistant coach for the China U-23 team.

On 10 August 2011 he returned to Shanghai Shenhua but this time as the head coach to replace Xi Zhikang for the rest of the season.[4] After leaving Shenhua at the end of 2011, Besek took over NK Zagreb in March 2012.[5] In September 2012, he resigned on his position after sustaining seven consecutive defeats in the 2012–13 Prva HNL.[6] Besek would return to China with second tier club Hunan Billows F.C. for the start of the 2013 China League One campaign.[7]


  1. ^ Dražen Besek at hrnogomet.com
  2. ^ 2001/02 Zagreb at rsssf.com. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2013
  3. ^ Dražen Besek at worldfootball.net. Retrieved 26 April 2013
  4. ^ 申花快讯:克罗地亚人拜塞克出任申花新主帅 Archived 1 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine at shenhuafc.com.cn. Retrieved 26 April 2013
  5. ^ Piršljin, Josip (27 March 2012). "Dražen Besek novi trener Zagreba". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  6. ^ Rupnik, Borna (3 September 2012). "Luka Bonačić preuzima dužnost Dražena Beseka". Sportnet.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  7. ^ Dražen Besek u kineskom drugoligašu Hunan Xiangtau at evarazdin.hr. 11.12.2012. Retrieved 26 April 2013

External linksEdit