Sinisa Mihajlovic, a former Serbia head coach and Lazio and Inter Milan defender, died of leukemia on Friday. He was 53.
“Sad news for Serbian football, the region, Europe and the football world – Sinisa Mihajlovic has passed away,” the Serbian Football Association said in a statement.
“Sinisa won many battles in his life, won great trophies, it seemed that he would win the most important one, against a serious illness,” it added.
Italy’s Corriere dello Sport said that Mihajlovic had been battling leukemia since 2019.
He was one of the famed football players of his generation and played for Italian clubs Lazio, Inter Milan, Roma, and Sampdoria.
Mihajlovic, who was among the best freekick takers, won the Italian Serie A title twice; 2000 with Lazio and 2006 with Inter.
He played for Yugoslavia, and Serbia and Montenegro before his retirement from the game in 2006.
Serbia, the Italian Serie A league, Lazio, Inter, and Bologna, the club that he coached in 2019-2022, offered condolences each.