The 50-year-old tasted management for the first time when he was appointed caretaker of Hajduk with a 16-game stint in charge of his boyhood club leading him to travel Europe in pursuit of further experience.
After two years with Croatia Under-23s Bilić was promoted to national team manager in 2006, following their poor performance at the World Cup in Germany.
He masterminded a double over England as Croatia topped Group E to qualify for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.
At EURO 2008 he guided Croatia to three group victories for the first time in the country’s history, including a 2-1 triumph over Germany, before exiting at the quarter-final stage.
Four years later a 3-1 win over the Republic of Ireland and a 1-1 draw with Italy were not enough to progress from their group following a 1-0 defeat by Spain.
After a stint with Lokomotiv Moscow the Split-born boss led Besiktas to the last 16 of the Europa League in 2015, finishing third behind Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in the same season’s Super Lig.
He was appointed manager of West Ham United in the summer of 2015 and in his first season at Upton Park secured a seventh-place finish for the Hammers, picking up the club’s best points tally, 62, in the Premier League era.