Siniša Mihajlovic, a former standout footballer in his native Serbia and then Italy who became a popular coach in Serie A, has passed away after a long battle with leukaemia. He was 53.
Mihajlovic’s family announced on Friday that he had died in a hospital in Rome.
Mihajlovic had last coached Bologna for 3 ½ years and became a sentimental favorite of fans and players alike due to his desire to continue working even after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2019. Players sometimes gathered under Mihajlovic’s hospital window when the coach received treatment. He was sacked by Bologna in September.
A full-back and free-kick specialist, Mihajlovic was part of the Red Star Belgrade team that won the European Cup in 1991. He also won Serie A as a player with Lazio in 2000 and was part of the Inter Milan team which won the Serie A title in 2006. after Juventus were stripped of the honor over the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.
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“The Serie A league has been deeply affected by the death of Siniša Mihajlovic,” the Italian league tweeted.
“His sheer class as a footballer and coach, his strength and his humanity are an example that leaves an indelible void in Italian and world football.” Mihajlovic also coached Catania, Fiorentina, Serbia national team, Sampdoria, AC Milan and Torino.