Veljko Paunovic’s playing career saw him represent numerous clubs including Partisan Belgrade, Atlético Madrid, Tenerife, Hannover 96, Getafe and Philadelphia Union. He also won two caps for Serbia and Montenegro.
After hanging up his boots, he began working as a manager with the Serbian national youth teams, at different times taking charge of their U18s, U19s and U20s. While with the latter, he won the U20 FIFA World Cup in 2015.
After this triumph on the world stage, Paunovic was appointed head coach of Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer. While with Chicago Fire, Paunovic reached the semi-finals of the US Open Cup in 2016 and 2018 and he led the team to the play-offs in 2017. In the same year, he coached in the MLS All-Star game against Real Madrid.
He subsequently spent 18 months as manager of Reading in the EFL Championship.
Paunovic has a UEFA Pro coaching licence and a sporting director degree from the Royal Spanish Football Federation.