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Ivan "Ivica" Osim (born 6 May 1941 in Sarajevomarker) is a Bosnian football manager and former player from the former Yugoslaviamarker. He was most recently head coach of Japan, before he suffered a stroke in November 2007 and left the post.

As player, he was a member of the Yugoslavia national team and played in the 1964 Olympics. As assistant manager, he won a bronze medal with Yugoslavia at the 1984 Olympics, and reached the quarterfinals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup as the manager of Yugoslavia.

Early years

Born during World War II, Osim's infant years were spent in difficult circumstances. Following the end of war, he started playing football in the FK Željezničar Sarajevo's youth system.

Playing career

Osim began his professional career with FK Željezničar Sarajevo in 1959. Osim is considered one of the best Bosnians to step on a football field who was known as a ruthless dribbler. He stayed in Yugoslavia until the end of 1968, as transfers abroad were prohibited for players under 28 at the time. In December 1968 he went to Holland, to play for Zwolsche Boys. This stay lasted only three months, due to a knee injury. In 1970, he moved to RC Strasbourg and played the rest of his career in Francemarker, playing for Valenciennes, Sedan and again at Strasbourg.

He played in 16 matches for Yugoslavia, including the 1968 European Championship where the Yugoslavs reached the final, where they lost to Italy.

Managerial career

Yugoslavia: 1978-1992

When his playing career ended in 1978, Osim took the coaching job at the club where he began playing, FK Željezničar Sarajevo. He coached the Sarajevo club until 1986, and finished second in the Yugoslav championship twice, reached the Yugoslav Cup final once and the UEFA Cup semifinals once. In addition, he assisted Ivan Toplak, coach of the Yugoslav Olympic team at the 1984 Olympics that won the bronze medal.

In 1986, he took over the Yugoslav national team, and reached the quarterfinals in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Osim also coached FK Partizan from 1991 to 1992, and guided them to a Yugoslav Cup title in 1992.

Yugoslavia qualified for the 1992 European Championship, but he resigned as his family in Sarajevo faced Serbianmarker bombardment in the Yugoslav wars. "My country doesn't deserve to play in the European Championship," said Osim, "On the scale of human suffering, I cannot reconcile events at home with my position as national manager." Yugoslavia was banned from the event, and its newly independent states have since competed as separate nations.

Panathinaikos and Sturm Graz: 1992-2002

After leaving Yugoslavia, he coached Panathinaikos from 1992 to 1994, winning the Greek Cup in 1993 and 1994, and finishing second in the league in 1993.

Between 1994 and 2002, Osim coached SK Sturm Graz, whom he led to the Austrian Championship in 1998 and 1999, the Austrian Cup in 1999 and the Austrian Supercup in 1998 and 1999. Sturm Graz appeared in the UEFA Champions League from 1998 to 2000.

Japan: 2003-2007

From 2003 to 2006, Osim has coached JEF United Ichihara (now JEF United Ichihara Chiba) of the J. League and has built a contender despite the club's modest means. The club came closest to its first league title in 2003 when it finished third in the season's first stage and second in the second stage. In 2005, the club won its first major title, the J. League Cup.

On 21 July 2006, he was appointed the manager of the Japanese national team, following Zico, who had resigned following 2006 FIFA World Cup. Japan defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 in his debut as head coach on 9 August 2006.

At the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, Osim failed to lead Japan to its third successive title, losing to Saudi Arabia in the semifinal and to South Korea in the third-place match on penalty kicks. He said, "I feel like I've dropped my trousers. Twice," in describing his own coaching performance, pointing out that he did not rest tired players. During the tournament, Osim reduced his interpreter to tears during a dressing room tirade, in which he called his players "amateurs" following a 1-1 draw against Qatar, and refused to watch the penalty shootout against Australia in the quarterfinal round, saying "I didn't see it because it was bad for my heart. I don't want to die while I coach Japan's national team. I want to die in my home town, Sarajevo."

Osim's remarks gained popularity with Japanese fans, and (ISBN 4797671084), a collection of his quotes published in 2005, sold 400,000 copies and was on the bestseller list in Japan.

On 16 November 2007, Osim suffered a stroke at his residence in Chibamarker, Japanmarker after watching a Premier League game He recovered consciousness on 26 November 2007 and asked his wife, Asima, "What's the result?" of the game he was watching before the stroke.

He was then moved from an intensive care unit to a general ward at the Juntendo University hospital in Urayasu, Chibamarker on 23 December 2007.

On 7 December 2007, the Japan Football Association formally announced the appointment of Takeshi Okada, who managed Japan during the 1998 World Cup, to replace Osim as Japan manager.



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