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Ranko Popović (Serbian Cyrillic: Ранко Поповић; born 26 June 1967) is a Serbian football manager and former player who also holds Austrian citizenship.

Ranko Popović
TSV Hartberg vs SKN St. Pölten (20).jpg
Popović with SKN St. Pölten in 2019
Personal information
Full name Ranko Popović
Date of birth (1967-06-26) 26 June 1967 (age 52)
Place of birth Peć, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Budućnost Peć
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
198x–198x Kneževac
1988–1989 Beograd
1989–1991 Partizan 2 (0)
1989–1990Leotar (loan) 13 (0)
1992–1994 Spartak Subotica
1994 Ethnikos Piraeus 10 (0)
1995 Spartak Subotica
1995–1997 Almería 16 (0)
1997–2001 Sturm Graz 74 (9)
2002–2004 TuS FC Arnfels
2004–2006 SV Pachern
Total 115 (9)
Teams managed
200x–200x TuS FC Arnfels (player-manager)
200x–200x SV Pachern (player-manager)
2006–2007 Sanfrecce Hiroshima (assistant)
2008 Zlatibor Voda
2008–2009 Spartak Subotica
2009 Oita Trinita
2011 Machida Zelvia
2012–2013 FC Tokyo
2014 Cerezo Osaka
2014–2015 Zaragoza
2016–2017 Buriram United
2017–2018 Pune City
2018–2019 St. Pölten
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing careerEdit

Born in Peć, SAP Kosovo, SR Serbia, Popović started out at local club Budućnost.[1][2] He moved to Belgrade in 1985 due to compulsory military service and played for Kneževac in the Belgrade Zone League.[1] In the 1988–89 season, Popović played for fellow Belgrade Zone League club Beograd.[1]

In the summer of 1989, Popović was acquired by Yugoslav First League side Partizan.[1] He was later loaned to Yugoslav Second League club Leotar during the 1989–90 season. After returning to Partizan, Popović made two appearances in the 1990–91 Yugoslav First League.

In 1992, Popović switched to Spartak Subotica.[1] He spent two and a half years at the club, before moving abroad to Greece and joining Ethnikos Piraeus in the summer of 1994.[1] Six months later, Popović returned to Spartak Subotica until the end of the season.[1]

After playing for two years at Segunda División club Almería, Popović joined Austrian side Sturm Graz in the summer of 1997, aged 30. He spent the next four seasons with the club, winning back-to-back championships in 1998 and 1999. In addition, Popović made 11 appearances in the UEFA Champions League.

Managerial careerEdit

Austria and JapanEdit

Between 2002 and 2006, Popović served as player-manager of Austrian lower league sides TuS FC Arnfels and SV Pachern.[2] He subsequently moved to Japan in the summer of 2006, assisting his compatriot Mihailo Petrović at Sanfrecce Hiroshima for over a year.[2]


In early 2008, Popović returned to his homeland and took charge of Serbian League Vojvodina club Zlatibor Voda. He led them to promotion to the Serbian First League, before they merged with Spartak Subotica.[2] In May 2009, Popović was replaced by Slavko Vojičić.

Return to JapanEdit

Popović with FC Tokyo in 2012

In July 2009, Popović accepted an offer to coach J League club Oita Trinita, which had experienced 14 consecutive defeats in the season. In his first six matches, the team only won once, but in the last 10 matches of the season, it did not lose once (five wins and five draws). This result earned him an offer to coach the team for the next season, but the team nearly went bankrupt and his contract had to be canceled.

In December 2010, Popović was appointed manager of Machida Zelvia. He subsequently went on to become manager of some of the most recognized clubs in Japan, including FC Tokyo and Cerezo Osaka.


On 24 November 2014, Popović was appointed at the helm of Spanish Segunda División side Zaragoza, replacing the fired Víctor Muñoz.[3] He led the team to the 2015 Segunda División play-offs, but fell short, losing to Las Palmas on the away goals rule.[4] While at Zaragoza, Popović was named the Segunda División Manager of the Month by the LFP in October 2015.[5] He was dismissed on 20 December 2015, after a 3–1 loss against Gimnàstic.[6]


In August 2016, Thai League club Buriram United appointed Popović as the club manager to fill the vacant role after the dismissal of Afshin Ghotbi.[7] He left the position in June 2017 after receiving a three-month ban by the Thai FA (FAT) for slapping his team's physio after a league game earlier that month.[8]


In September 2017, Indian Super League side Pune City appointed Popović as new manager.[9] He parted ways with the club in May 2018.[10]

Managerial statisticsEdit

Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Zaragoza[11] November 2014 December 2015 51 19 17 15 037.25
Total 51 19 17 15 037.25



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Ranko Popović - Posle 14 godina ponovo u Subotici" (in Serbian). 11 February 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Trenerska karijera Ranka Popovića" (in Serbian). 26 October 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  3. ^ "El serbio Popovic, nuevo entrenador del Real Zaragoza" (in Spanish). 24 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Otra reconstrucción" (in Spanish). 23 June 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Popovic, el mejor de octubre" (in Spanish). 6 November 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  6. ^ "El Zaragoza destituye a Popovic como técnico" (in Spanish). 20 December 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Newin's league dream over". 26 August 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Fans call for Kiatisak after Buriram's Popovic resigns". 14 June 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Serbian Popovic takes Habas' place in Pune City". 25 September 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  10. ^ "FC Pune City and coach Popovic part ways". 30 May 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  11. ^ Ranko Popović manager profile at BDFutbol

External linksEdit