West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic has revealed he turned down national team jobs before being named the Baggies’ new boss.
Bilic was appointed earlier this month on a two-year deal with the aim of getting West Brom back into the Premier League.
Bilic in management: Five key things to know…
- Bilic’s first job in management was with Hajduk Split in his native Croatia.
- He then managed Croatia’s U21 side and was eventually promoted to the senior team.
- Spells in Russia and Turkey followed with Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas.
- Bilic then returned to his former club, West Ham, leading them to seventh in 2015/16.
- After his sacking, he coached Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad before returning to England with West Brom.
Bilic has experience as a national team manager having led Croatia to the quarter-finals of Euro 2008.
And the 50-year-old claims he received offers from “better” leagues than the Championship.
“Some of the offers were from national teams,” Bilic told Sky Sports. “Good ones. Some of the clubs were from leagues that are maybe better than this one.
“Some were not offers – some were talks. Make no mistake, I didn’t have offers to go to big, big clubs but also, I didn’t have to come here.”
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The former West Ham manager went on to reveal that watching a Championship match last season led him to decide the second-tier of English football was an ambition of his.
He added: “I remember watching Leeds against Forest. I think I was in Saudi and I was watching the game and I told my assistant I have to tick this box.
“This is the league. This is the essence. During my life, I would like to do it. I would like to experience it. It is a different league. It is the essence of football.
“I’m not saying it’s better than the Premier League. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about how good this challenge is for me at the right time and I really wanted it now.”