Rene Mihelic is a Slovenian footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League.
He started as a national wonder kid, making a debut for the national team in an innocuous age of 19.
However, he soon faded into oblivion and made a career for himself in unfancied leagues.
Mihelic was born on 5 July 1988 in Maribor, Yugoslavia (present day Slovenia).
Mihelic joined the youth academy of Maribor at a very young age and gave a commendable display of his caliber.
He is a multi-utility player who can operate as a makeshift midfielder and winger. He is not particularly prolific but has the knack of scoring crucial goals.
Debut and international career
Mihelic was speeding through the ranks with incredible displays for Maribor. He had made his way into the senior team at a tender age and was way ahead in skills than others of his age.
He played for Slovenia in the U18, U19, U20 and U21 levels. He nonchalantly strolled into the national team reckoning and made a debut for Slovenia when he was 19 years and 47 days old, which made him the youngest player ever to play for Slovenia.
He came off the bench to play the last 7 minutes in a 1-1 stalemate against Montenegro.
Unfortunately, his international career could not take off. The hype regarding the young talent was probably the main reason of the downfall.
A three year stint at Portuguese club Nacional was rather insipid and it virtually closed the doors for an international return.
He played just three matches for the national team.
Mihelic received most of his football grooming at Maribor. Joining the club at a very young age, he established himself as a regular starter.
He made more than 130 appearances over the span of five years and enjoyed huge success. He joined Portuguese club Nacional in 2010 for £810,000.
However, he had to endure an injury prone three years with limited game time. He spent time in lower league clubs like Bulgarian Levski Sofia and Slovenian club Zavrc in hope of reigniting his career.
He joined Hungarian powerhouses Debrecen in 2014. Many a times, the burly midfielder had no takers and had to spend time as a free agent. The struggles were dotted with successful spells at Israeli club Hapoel Ra’anana and Latvian club Riga.
He was roped in by Chennaiyin FC for the 2017 ISL and has put top notch performances for his club in the 17/18 season.
He scored a penalty in the dying minutes of a scintillating match against Kerala Blasters which ended 1-1. His pace and vision has provided the team with a whole new dimension of play.