Roberto Mancini Pays Tribute To Sinisa Mihajlovic

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Roberto Mancini, the manager of Italy, praised his great buddy for having the heart of a lion during his battle with leukemia and said that Sinisa Mihajlovic’s passing was “not fair.”

They played together at Sampdoria and Lazio, and Mancini coached Mihajlovic while he was there before bringing the then-35-year-old to Inter in 2004.

They forged a strong friendship while playing and coaching for Inter in 2006, and they also shared the Scudetto in 1999-2000 with Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad.

The news of Mihajlovic’s passing on Friday shocked the football world in Italy, where the former Yugoslavia international played for the most of his career.

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After retiring from playing, Mihajlovic joined Roberto Mancini’s Inter staff as an assistant. He then held head coaching positions with Bologna, Catania, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Milan, Torino, and, ultimately, Bologna a second time.

Mancini commanded Inter and Mihajlovic was in control of Milan throughout the 2015–16 season, making them opposing managers in the same city.
After a sluggish start to the season, Mihajlovic was fired as the manager of Bologna in September of this year.

“This is a day I never wanted to live, because I lost a friend with whom I shared almost 30 years of my life, on and off the pitch,” said Mancini, in quotes reported by the Italian Football Federation’s official website.

“It’s not fair that such a terrible disease took away a 53-year-old lad, who fought like a lion until the last moment, as he was used to doing on the pitch.

“And this is exactly how Sinisa will always remain by my side, even if he is no longer there, as he did in Genoa [with Sampdoria], in Rome [with Lazio] and in Milan [at Inter] and subsequently also when we took different paths.”

After receiving a bone marrow transplant in October of that same year after receiving his initial leukemia diagnosis in 2019, Sinisa Mihajlovic returned to the Bologna dugout six weeks later.

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