CAUSE OF DEATH: Sinisa Mihajlovic has died of leukaemia KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Friday, December 16, 2022

CAUSE OF DEATH: Sinisa Mihajlovic has died of leukaemia

Former Yugoslavia, Lazio and Inter Milan footballer and ex-AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has died at the age of 53 following a fight with leukaemia. (Read More Here).

Mihajlovic has succumbed to his illness following a struggle of over three years having still been in the dug-out at Italian club Bologna just three months ago. 

He passed away in a clinic in Rome on Friday. His club career saw him play for Red Star Belgrade in his home country before moving to Italy, where he played for prominent Serie A clubs Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan.

It was his six seasons at Lazio that saw Mihajlovic achieve the most success, helping them to the Serie A title in 1999-2000 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1998-99.

He would win a second Scudetto with Inter in the 2005-06 season as well as four Italian Cups overall.

The Italian top-flight said in a tweet: 'Lega Serie A is deeply saddened by the passing of Siniša Mihajlović, an icon of football and life. 'His pure class as a footballer and coach, his strength and his humanity are an example that leaves an indelible mark on Italian and world football.'

Mihajlovic had been in the dug-out with Bologna as recently as three months ago.

He was first diagnosed with an acute form of leukaemia in July 2019 but continued in his coaching duties at Bologna despite undergoing a bone marrow treatment and three cycles of chemotherapy.

Announcing his diagnosis at a press conference, he said defiantly: 'I have leukaemia but I will beat it by playing attacking.' 

Unfortunately, he suffered a relapse of the disease back in March, which meant another round of treatment.  

Bologna was the last stop on a coaching career that saw him also take the helm of Fiorentina, Sampdoria, AC Milan, Torino, Sporting Lisbon and the Serbia national team. Mihajlovic was sacked by Bologna in early September following a winless opening five games of the Serie A campaign.

He didn't wish to resign voluntarily so the club took the decision out of his hands.

A press release by his family read: 'His wife Arianna, with their children Viktorija, Virginia, Miroslav, Dusan and Nikolas, their granddaughter Violante, their mother Vikyorija and their brother Drazen, in pain, communicate the unjust and premature death of their husband, father, son and exemplary brother, Sinisa Mihajlovic. 

'A unique man, an extraordinary professional, available and good to everyone. He courageously fought against a horrible disease. 

'We thank the doctors and nurses who have followed him over the years, with love and respect, especially Dr. Francesca Bonifazi, Dr. Antonio Curti, Prof. Alessandro Rambaldi, and Dr. Luca Marchetti. 

Sinisa will always remain with us. I live with all the love he has given us'.  Born in the former Yugoslavia, Mihajlovic spent most of his playing career in Italy - even having a two year spell with Inter Milan. However, he is best known for his time in management, which saw him take charge of a number of Serie A clubs, and the Serbian national team.

Mihajlovic's last job was at Bologna, but after a poor start to the season, he was relieved of his duties on 5 September 2022. In 2019, he had announced he was undergoing treatment for leukemia, even staying on as Bologna manager through treatment. However, he passed away on Friday.

Tributes have poured in for the respected boss, his former side Fiorentina said: "RIP Sinisa. Fiorentina mourns the death of Sinisa Mihajlovic and gathers around the family and loved ones."

"My childhood hero has passed away. RIP Sinisa Mihajlovic we will never forget you," a second added. While a third tweeted: "Forever grateful to have gotten to know a man so fierce and special. Thank you forever and may you rest in peace Sinisa Mihajlovic."

And a statement from Serie A read: " "Serie A is deeply saddened by the passing of Sinisa Mihajlovic, an icon of football and life. His pure class as a footballer and coach, his strength and his humanity are an example that leaves an indelible mark on Italian and world football."

Mihajlovic was renowned for his dead ball prowess on the pitch, and, as a player, Mihajlovic played for Yugoslavia at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

He spent most of his playing career in Rome, crossing the divide between Lazio and Roma after a spell at Sampdoria in between. It was at Lazio he won his first scudetto - a second would arrive later with Inter.

Mihajlovic was considered as one of the top free-kick takers of all time, and holds the all-time record in Serie A for most goals from free-kicks with 28.

His wife Arianna dedicated a post to him on Instagram, where she quoted Che Guevara: “You have to know how to be tough, without losing tenderness. You are a lion with a tender heart”.

Mihajlovic’s passing was first reported by Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, leading to an outpouring of grief from across the football world - not least the country where he became a household name as a player and free-kick specialist during spells with Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter Milan in the 1990s and early 2000s.

He later managed the likes of AC Milan, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Torino and Bologna, where he had worked as recently as September before departing after a difficult start to the 2022/23 season.

“Serie A is deeply saddened by the passing of Sinisa Mihajlovic, an icon of football and life,” the Italian top-flight said in a statement.

He was part of the Red Star Belgrade team that famously lifted the European Cup in 1991, becoming only the second eastern European team to achieve the feat, also winning three domestic titles across spells with Red Star and Vojvodina.

In Italy, he won a host of silverware with Lazio and Inter, including Scudettos in 1990-2000 and 2005-06, in addition to four Coppa Italia crowns and three Supercoppa Italiana trophies. He also claimed the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Lazio.

Mihajlovic ended his playing career aged 37 in 2006, boasting the Serie A record of most free-kicks scored in the league’s history. 28 of his 38 goals in the Italian top-flight were from set-pieces.

He later served as assistant to Roberto Mancini at Inter, before beginning his managerial career with Bologna in 2008.

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