- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

When Algeria qualified for the World Cup there was a rare sight in the dressing room as Vahid Halilhodzic briefly let down his guard and joined in with the players as they sang “One, two, three, viva l’Algerie.”

Halilhodzic is renowned as a strict disciplinarian who is more used to shouting at his players than singing along with them. But the sheer emotional impact of qualifying for the World Cup got through to the 61-year-old Halilhodzic, who previously had a difficult spell coaching Ivory Coast.

Halilhodzic had started well with Ivory Coast, and was unbeaten in qualifiers for both the World Cup and the African Cup of Nations in 2010. But his popularity dipped dramatically after the Elephants lost to Algeria in the African Cup quarterfinals and he was fired before the World Cup in South Africa. He took charge of Algeria a year later.

Halilhodzic, a former international striker with Yugoslavia, has traveled around the world in a 20-year coaching career that started out in Bosnia with Velez Mostar. That is where he also began his playing career, scoring more than 100 goals before moving to France in 1981. He had a highly successful spell with Nantes - scoring 92 league goals and winning a league title - then moved on to Paris Saint-Germain.


His most high-profile coaching spell at club level was also with PSG between 2003-05, finishing in second place behind Lyon and winning the French Cup in 2004.

Although he qualified PSG for the Champions League, his abrasive style led to friction between him and senior players.

He once ranted that there was a spy in the squad who was leaking information to the media about dressing room disputes and, clearly distracted by this, demanded that this mole be identified.

He made a tense situation worse when he sold winger Fabrice Fiorese to rival Marseille, seen as a treacherous move by the notoriously volatile PSG fans. He was fired midway through his second season with the club and his penchant for globe-trotting took him to Turkey, where he coached Trabzonspor.

As a coach, he has taken charge of nine clubs and two countries. But, for all his work ethic, there have been only two trophies: the French Cup and the African Champions League with Moroccan side Raja Casablanca in 1997.