Football coach Sinisa Mihajlovic dies at 53 after battle with leukaemia

Football coach and former footballer, Sinisa Mihajlovic has died at the age of 53. The ex-Yugoslavia defender, who announced in 2019 that he had been diagnosed with leukaemia, played for Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio, and Inter in Italy.

He also managed a host of teams, including AC Milan. His family said on Friday December 16, that he had died.

A statement from his family read: “Wife Ariadne, with children Viktorija, Virginia, Miroslav, Dusan and Nikolas, granddaughter Violante, mother Vikyorija and brother Drazen in grief communicate the unjust and untimely death of their exemplary husband, father, son and brother, Sinisa Mihajlovic.

“A unique professional and an extraordinary man, helpful and good to everyone. He fought bravely against a horrible disease. “We thank the doctors and nurses who followed him over the years with love and respect… Sinisa will always remain with us. I live with all the love he gave us.” Mihajlovic was one of the fixtures of Italian football for three decades, having joined Roma in 1992.

He made 69 appearances for the capital club and went on to have stints at Sampdoria, Lazio, and Inter Milan, totaling well over 400 appearances in Serie A. He then moved into management, starting as an assistant at Inter, before managing Bologna (twice), Catania, Fiorentina, the Serbian national team, Sampdoria, AC Milan, Torino and Sporting CP. His most recent job was his second spell in charge of Bologna.

He was appointed in 2019 and was sacked on September 6. Mihajlovic confirmed in a press conference in July 2019 that he had been diagnosed with leukaemia, but carried on his job at Bologna while undergoing treatment.

He was known as a tough defender and is widely regarded as one of the best free-kick takers in the history of the game. He still holds the Serie A record for the most goals from free-kicks, with 28.

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