Sinisa Mihajlovic dies aged 53 – 'An icon of football and life'

By Sports Desk December 16, 2022

Sinisa Mihajlovic has been remembered as "an icon of football and life" after his death at the age of 53 was announced on Friday.

Mihajlovic, who had an illustrious career playing for the likes of Sampdoria, Lazio, Roma and Inter, passed away following a battle with leukaemia.

The former Yugoslavia international continued his coaching career with Bologna after he was initially diagnosed with leukaemia in July 2019.

Mihajlovic underwent treatment, but leukaemia concerns were raised for a second time in March. He was sacked by Serie A club Bologna six months later.

Lazio said in a statement: "Lazio mourns the passing of Sinisa Mihajlovic: a great Lazio man, a warrior on the pitch and in life. His courage on the pitch was second only to that shown in the face of a serious illness, which never weakened him in spirit and temper.

"An indelible trace in the history of Lazio will remain of this fighter with a big heart, not only for having been champion of Italy, but for the message of hope in the face of the difficulties that he was able to represent up to the last moment of his life.

"We will remember him as he deserves, with the infinite embrace of his team and his people. Our deepest condolences to the family."

A Serie A statement said: "Lega 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."

Fiorentina, who Mihajlovic coached over a decade ago, posted on Twitter: "RIP Sinisa. Fiorentina mourns the death of Sinisa Mihajlovic and gathers around the family and loved ones."

Bologna posted: "Goodbye Mister, you will forever be in our hearts."

Mihajlovic was a set-piece specialist with a sweet left foot. He could operate in midfield but played mostly as a defender, making 63 international appearances and scoring 10 goals.

He won the Serie A title as a player with both Lazio and Inter after lifting the European Cup during his time at Red Star Belgrade.

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