The Fulham head coach revealed he immediately bonded with the Spanish speaking players at Stamford Bridge in October 2000 after he signed from Deportivo La Coruna.
Hasselbaink, who had linked up with the Blues from Atletico Madrid five months previously for a then club record £15 million was deadly in front of goal - not so hot when it came to a hand of poker.
“Jimmy’s a nice man, and a very important person in my first experience of England,” Jokanovic said. “I had a very good friendship and he helped me adapt, but I remember when we played cards in the bus, I beat him. I hope I’m going to do the same in the game.”
The Fulham chief remembered a time at Chelsea when it quickly became clear there were a lot of leaders in that squad 15 years ago.
It comes as no surprise the QPR coach has come on in leaps and bounds since he first dipped his toe in managerial waters with Royal Antwerp in 2013.
I knew he had intentions to be a football coach. We spoke last year, and he was very excited about a new coaching career.
In a short time he has already made important steps, and has the chance to go even higher.
“Time (to develop and grow) doesn’t exist in football although we (coaches) need it. But after a month-and-a-half QPR are playing better, and I think he’s made a good job.
“Many ex-Chelsea players from my time there became managers - and I’m not surprised: Franco Zola, Gus Poyet or Jimmy too. Dennis Wise also had a go.
“Even then, it’s true there were many who were thinking about what was to come next.”