Milanič managing Maribor in 2017
|Date of birth||18 December 1967|
|Place of birth||Izola, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Izola, Milanič began his football career with local side NK Izola. In the 1986–87 season, he joined Partizan. During his time at Partizan, he won the Yugoslav First League and the Yugoslav Cup twice.
After the 1992–93 season, Milanič moved to the Austrian side Sturm Graz, where he played for eight seasons and won eight trophies, including two Austrian Bundesliga titles, three Austrian Cups and three Austrian Supercups.
During his spell at Partizan, he earned five caps for Yugoslavia. Even after the independence of Slovenia, Milanič, as being a player of a Serbian club (Partizan), was included by Yugoslavia for the UEFA Euro 1992, but the nation would be suspended due to the Yugoslav Wars.
After his football career, Milanič turned to coaching. He started his coaching career at his hometown club Izola. After that, he was appointed manager of Primorje and an assistant coach at Sturm Graz under Franco Foda during the 2006–07 season.
At the start of the 2007–08 season, Milanič was appointed as the head coach of Gorica, where he helped guide them to a third-place finish in the Slovenian PrvaLiga. In the 2007–08 UEFA Cup, the team was knocked out in the first qualifying round after losing over two legs to Rabotnički.
On 29 May 2008, Milanič was appointed head coach at Maribor by Director of Football Zlatko Zahovič. He won the Slovenian PrvaLiga during his first year in the 2008–09 season. In May 2010, Maribor won the Slovenian Cup. After winning this trophy, Milanič became the first coach that have won all three domestic trophies in Slovenian club football, having won the Slovenian League and the Slovenian Supercup before that. He has achieved that in only two seasons.
At the beginning of the 2012–13 season, Maribor played in their fourth successive Supercup. The club defeated their "eternal rivals" Olimpija Ljubljana 2–1 to clinch their second Supercup title. In January 2013, Milanič was selected as the Slovenian Manager of the Year for 2012 by winning the league, cup and supercup.
Milanič led Maribor to the group stages of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League as one of the losers in the play-off round of the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Dinamo Zagreb. This was the second season in a row in which Maribor qualified to the Europa League main stages. They managed to get four points out of six matches, defeating Panathinaikos and drawing with Tottenham Hotspur, both at home. On 9 November 2012, Maribor suffered a 3–1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur after a hat-trick by Jermain Defoe. In the final game of Group J, Maribor suffered a 4–1 defeat to Lazio.
Maribor confirmed their eleventh league title on 11 May 2013 after defeating Olimpija Ljubljana 2–1. In the 2013 Cup Final, Maribor defeated Celje 1–0, thus securing their fourth "double" in the club's history.
On 4 June 2013, Milanič became a manager of Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga, with Novica Nikčević as his assistant. One of his first signings was Robert Berić, whom he signed from his former club, Maribor. Sturm Graz were knocked out of the Europa League after losing 1–0 on aggregate in the second qualifying round to Breiðablik UBK. He led his side to a fifth-place finish during his first season during the 2013–14 season.
On 21 September 2014, during a press conference, Sturm Graz revealed that Milanič would be leaving the club to join an English side Leeds United after agreeing to buy out his contract at Sturm Graz to make the move.
On 23 September 2014, Milanič was appointed as manager of Leeds United on a two-year deal, replacing Dave Hockaday. He was joined at Leeds by his Sturm Graz assistant Novica Nikčević. Milanič parted company on 25 October 2014, minutes after a 2–1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers, just 32 days after taking over, for failing to win any of his six games in charge.
Return to Maribor
On 2 March 2016, Milanič returned to the Slovenian PrvaLiga club Maribor. He became the Slovenian champion with the team in the 2016–17 season. Milanič led Maribor to the group stages of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League after eliminating Zrinjski Mostar, Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar, and Hapoel Be'er-Sheva in the qualifying rounds. In the 2018–19 season, he won his sixth league title with Maribor. He resigned in March 2020 after a 2–1 home defeat against Bravo.
On 7 September 2020, Milanič took charge of Slovak club Slovan Bratislava, signing a one-year contract with an option for further two years, with Novica Nikčević named as his assistant. He was sacked on 9 May 2021 after a series of poor results, despite reaching the cup final and topping the league table.
|Primorje||15 June 2004||12 April 2006||63||24||15||24||38.10|
|Gorica||6 June 2007||27 May 2008||38||15||9||14||39.47|
|Maribor||29 May 2008||3 June 2013||248||138||61||49||55.65|
|Sturm Graz||4 June 2013||22 September 2014||53||21||12||20||39.62|
|Leeds United||23 September 2014||25 October 2014||6||0||3||3||0.00|
|Maribor||2 March 2016||7 March 2020||196||105||56||35||53.57|
|Slovan Bratislava||7 September 2020||9 May 2021||32||22||6||4||68.75|
- Austrian Bundesliga: 1997–98, 1998–99
- Austrian Cup: 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99
- Austrian Supercup: 1996, 1998, 1999
- Slovenian PrvaLiga: 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2016–17, 2018–19
- Slovenian Cup: 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2015–16
- Slovenian Supercup: 2009, 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Darko Milanič.|
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- SPINS XI 2011–12