Sinisa Mihajlovic has been through two wars in his life. The son of a Croatian mother and a Serbian father, he grew up in Tito's Yugoslavia, where kids in the streets kicked a ball around under a sky that often lit up with light trails, the missiles. 'Only football didn't make me think of war,' he would say as an adult, when the din of bombs was replaced by the cheers of fans in the stadiums. It is precisely football that gives him courage, hope and the desire to emerge. The technical skills are there, the character too. And Sinisa succeeds.
The first real team to believe in him was Borovo, but his consecration came with a move to Red Star Belgrade. The world began to take notice of this curly-haired boy with a powerful and precise left foot. And Roma brought him to Italy, changing his life. He only stayed with the Giallorossi for two seasons, then moved to Genoa's Sampdoria side, where he stayed until 1994, when he returned to the capital, this time to Lazio. From 2004 to 2006 he played with Inter, then decided it was time to hang up his boots.
But football is his world and so the move from the pitch to the bench is part of a natural, almost written path.
From Bologna to… Bologna
His coaching history began in 2008, when he became the head coach of Bologna's first team. Then ten years travelling around Italy, with a move to the Serbian national team and another to Sporting Lisbon. But then he returns home: it is the summer of 2019, the circle closes, everything seems perfect.
Fate, however, can be cruel. And Sinisa is called upon to face the second war of his life, the one with a disease that makes your voice tremble at the mere mention of his name: acute leukaemia.
Unfortunately, despite the grit, the hopes, the improvements, Sinisa did not make it. Because in these cases relapses are a tackle that hurts.
The famous phrases
'I used to play alone on a field and throw the ball from side to side until it got dark'.
"When it comes to dreams I don't think about the Champions League, I think about embracing my father again. Even though I know it's impossible."
"As a kid I loved bananas, but we were so poor that my mother only bought one and I had to share it with my brother. I used to tell her that the story would change when I became rich and bought a truckload of bananas just for me!"
"The real wealth we must leave to our children is values: honesty, loyalty, sacrifice. My children will have to sweat, it's not enough to have a famous surname".
"WARS, ALL OF THEM, SUCK. BUT THE FRATRICIDAL ONE WE EXPERIENCED IN YUGOSLAVIA IS AS BAD AS IT GETS. FRIENDS WHO SHOT EACH OTHER, MY CROATIAN UNCLE WHO WANTED TO KILL MY SERBIAN FATHER, ALL ABSURD".
"In 1991, in Vukovar, I saw two ten-year-old children wielding machine guns. They had adult eyes in childish bodies. Sad eyes, which had already seen everything except childhood".
"I have a strong personality, I am a Serb, with the merits and faults of my people".
In his latest outings, a few days ago he made a surprise appearance at the press conference for the presentation of a book by Zdenek Zeman, Sinisa Mihajlovic looked fatigued, in a body far removed from the super-athlete he showed on the pitch. But the look, the smile, were the same. Until the very end he wanted to reassure everyone, he almost convinced us that he would win even the most difficult match.
Ciao Sinisa, we will remember you there, on the green turf ready to kick a free kick under the crossbar. Always with your head held high.
Written by Michael Zippo
Michael Zippo, passionate Webmaster and Publisher, stands out for his versatility in online dissemination. Through his blog, he explores topics ranging from celebrity net worth to celebrity net worth. to business dynamics, the economy, and developments in IT and programming. His professional presence on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-zippo-9136441b1/ - is a reflection of his dedication to the industry, while managing platforms such as EmergeSocial.NET and theworldtimes.org highlights his expertise in creating informative and timely content. Involved in significant projects such as python.engineering, Michael offers a unique experience in the digital world, inviting the public to explore the many facets online with him.