Sinisa Mihajlovic dies after long battle with leukaemia

Sinisa Mihajlovic dies after long battle with leukaemia

Former AC Milan and Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic has died at the age of 53 following a long battle with leukaemia.

The ex-Yugoslavia defender, who won the European Cup with Red Star Belgrade as a player in 1991, first announced he had leukaemia in 2019.

He was successfully treated but was diagnosed with the illness for a second time in March 2022.

“His impact in our game, country and hearts will be forever remembered,” said a Serie A statement.

Mihajlovic won Serie A as a player with Lazio and Inter Milan and also played for Roma and Sampdoria.

He won 63 international caps between 1991 and 2003, representing the former Yugoslavia at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

He managed Serbia’s national team and was Bologna boss up until September when he was sacked following a poor start to the season.

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“It was the most difficult decision I have made since I have been president of Bologna,” said Bologna president Joey Saputo at the time.

“In recent years we have lived together with Sinisa beautiful and painful moments that have cemented a relationship that is not only professional, but above all human.

“Mihajlovic has faced the disease with courage and determination since the day he wanted to make his state of health public in a moving press conference.

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“Since then, despite the hospital stays and the heavy effects of the treatments he has been subjected to, he has always remained close to the team, making every effort to be in contact with the players, in person or in connection, thanks also to the professionalism of his staff.”

In a statement posted on their website, the Serbian FA wrote: “Football has lost too soon a champion of Europe and the world, one of the best performers of free-kicks in the history of football, player, coach and selector, a man who left a deep mark in the history of Serbian and Italian football with his career.”

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Javier Zanetti, who played with Mihajlovic at Inter Milan, said: “He was a good friend and now he is gone. He has done so much for football – big hug to his family.”

A minute’s silence was held for Mihajlovic before AC Milan’s game with Liverpool in the Dubai Super Cup on Friday.

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