FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the men who have lead their teams to the final of the AFC Champions League and the brink of becoming the undisputed champions of Asian football.
Jeonbuk Hyundai of South Korea and Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates will meet in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final on Saturday. We take a look at the men who have masterminded their Asian campaigns to the verge of the biggest regional footballing prize.
Zlatko Dalic (Al Ain)
Croat Zlatko Dalić, 49, was a professional football player who played as a defensive midfielder. He previously worked with Dražen Ladić as assistant coach with the Croatia national under-21 football team. He was also head coach of Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
Dalić has been in charge at Al Ain since March 2014 when he replaced sacked Quique Flores. In less than two years since Dalić took over, the club has climbed more than 200 places in the FIFA table and now it is the fifth best club in Asia according to the rankings.
He has led the club to win four trophies – the Arabian Gulf League 2014/15, the President’s Cup 2013/14, UAE Super Cup 2015/16, and the Moroccan Emirati Friendship Cup in 2015/16.
Choi Kang-hee (Jeonbuk)
Choi is a former professional who appeared for Army FC, the POSCO Dolphins and Hyundai Horang-i during a 13-year career, playing almost 200 games for Hyundai before retiring in 1992.
After several assistant coaching roles, he joined Jeonbuk Hyundai in 2005 and coached the club for six successful years until 2011, before leaving to coach the South Korean national team.
He rejoined Jeonbuk in 2013 after 18 months in the national job. In his first spell with Jeonbuk, he lead them to two K-League titles (2009, 2011) and two AFC Champions League finals (2006, 2011), winning one in 2006.
Since rejoining the club they have won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.