In an extensive interview with the Slovenian sports daily EkipaSN, Kek confirmed that he has already met with representatives of the Slovenian Football Association and has spoken with them about the manager position. But first and foremost, Kek wants the communication to be clear and meaningful.
“I’m convinced that many things in this area haven’t been good enough. Perhaps I don’t have the right to say this, but that’s what I told them. There were talks, and they are still underway, but you can probably imagine that I can’t and don’t want to say more than that. But at the same time, I want to be fair, specific, and direct – and I think I’ve been all of those things. That’s the basis; things can’t proceed without that. Our relationship will probably continue to develop,” commented Kek.
“I have no reason to reject the Association from the get-go and refuse to talk to its president. In fact, I wanted to express my views now that I have no other commitments, Things were very different last year; let’s be clear about that. My approach was completely different. Because the Association called me up about a specific issue, I gave them a specific response and things ended there. Now that I have no other commitments and don’t have to notify anyone that I’m talking about the national team, my mindset and my circumstances are completely different,” explained Kek.
Kek did not want to say whether Association President Radenko Mijatović told him that he was the first choice. He emphasized that the meeting seemed “fine” to him. “It was a pleasant conversation and I felt comfortable. Let them talk to their second, third, fourth pick – I think they will find the best fit this way. Because the current situation… Let’s be honest, it isn’t good,” said the 57-year-old Maribor native.
A part of the interview touched on the number one star of Slovenian soccer, Jan Oblak. When the team was managed by Tomaž Kavčič, Oblak was not a part of that team. When Kek was asked if he wants to talk to the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, Kek responded: “We’re still too far from that. For now. Please understand.”
“Let me add that the Slovenian national team deserves to have the best players playing for them. But that decision needs to be made by someone who is responsible for it,” Kek added.
If he takes over the team, Kek will consider the players as the most important element. “I’m very clear about this; it’s important to take the responsibility and say outright: either I’m part of the team or I’m not.” Kek also spoke about Slovenia’s other soccer star, Josip Iličić. He admitted his share of the blame for the fact that the 30-year-old hasn’t repeated his European success on the national team: “I’m partly to blame for that. But it’s not too late.” Kek admitted that he made a mistake when Iličić was a hot property in his club, but Kek failed to launch him as a member of the national team.