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Siniša Mihajlović (Serbian Cyrillic: Синиша Михајловић; born February 20, 1969) is a Serbianmarker former football player turned manager. He was the head coach of Serie A side Bologna.

Mihajlović has 63 caps and scored 9 goals for the Yugoslav and Serbia and Montenegro national team. He played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000 tournaments.

Early life

Mihajlović is the son of Bogdan (of Serbian parentage) and Viktorija (of Croatian parentage). Mihajlović also has Romani ancestry. Both parents declared themselves Yugoslavs. He could have played for either Croatia or FR Yugoslavia (now Serbia) but chose Yugoslavia since he felt more Serbian due to the war and his religion (Serbian Orthodox Christian). He was part of the golden generation of Yugoslav players who won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chilemarker, but was not selected in the team that went for the tournament.

Playing career

At club level, Mihajlović started his career in Yugoslaviamarker, playing for NK Borovo (1986–1988), Vojvodina Novi Sad (1988–1991), and Red Star Belgrade (1991–92). He won the European Cup in the 1990–91 season with Red Star Belgrade. In the final, Red Star defeated Olympique de Marseille on penalties, after a 0-0 draw at full time, with Mihajlović being one of the scorers. Mihajlović was also in the team later that year when Red Star Belgrade won the Intercontinental Cup, defeating Colo Colo 3-0.

In 1992, Mihajlović moved abroad to play for Italianmarker club Roma. He played two seasons at Roma, helping the club finish 10th and 7th in the Serie A championship. In 1994, he joined defending Serie A bronze medalists from Sampdoria. In his four seasons at Sampdoria, Mihajlović saw limited success in the Serie A. In the European competitions, however, he helped Sampdoria reach the semi-final of the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, where they were defeated by Arsenal. In June 1998, Mihajlović represented Yugoslavia at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, playing all Yugoslav matches in the tournament. He scored a goal against Iran, and conceded an own goal against Germany. This made Mihajlović one of only four players to score both a goal and an own goal in the World Cup; the other ones being Ernie Brandts, Ruud Krol, and Gustavo Peña.

In the summer 1998, Mihajlović was brought to Lazio by manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. He won his first trophy in Italy in 1998, as Lazio beat Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana. With Lazio, Mihajlović reached the final of the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, winning the last edition of that competition with a 2-1 victory against RCD Mallorca. Lazio also won the 1999 UEFA Super Cup. Playing 26 games and scoring seven goals during the Serie A 1999–2000 season as Lazio won the second Scudetto in club history. Mihajlović completed the double by helping Lazio win the 2000 Coppa Italia. Mihajlović represented Yugoslavia internationally again, as he selected to compete at the Euro 2000 tournament. In the first Yugoslav game of the tournament, Mihajlović was sent off against Slovenia. He served a one-game suspension before playing the last two games of the tournament.

In December 2000, Mihajlovic came under investigation following alleged racist remarks towards Patrick Vieira. The remarks fell during an October 2000 match against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League. The racist remarks were revealed to be "black shit," which Mihajlović conveyed back to Patrick Vieira, in English. Mihajlović subsequently apologized, but contended that his words were in retaliation to Vieira's racist remarks, calling Mihajlović a "gypsy shit." On 7 November 2003, Mihajlović received an eight match suspension by UEFA for spitting at and kicking Chelsea's Adrian Mutu during a Champions League game. He won his last trophy with Lazio in 2004, beating Juventus in the Coppa Italia final.

In the summer 2004, Mihajlović was released from Lazio and joined his friend and former teammate Roberto Mancini at Internazionale on a free transfer, signing a one-year deal. On 9 April 2006, in a league away game versus Ascoli, Mihajlović scored his 27th career free-kick goal in the Serie A championship, an absolute record. Mihajlović ended his playing career after the 2005–06 season, having one Serie A championship, two Coppa Italia trophies, and a Supercoppa Italia title as an Inter player.

Coaching

Mihajlović started a coaching career in Inter, as assistant to head coach Roberto Mancini. He was fired by Internazionale on 29 May 2008, as Mancini also left the club.

On 3 November 2008, Mihajlović was appointed to replace Daniele Arrigoni at the helm of Serie A relegation-battling club Bologna. His Serie A bench debut came on 8 November 2008 at home versus Roma. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. His debut as head coach with Bologna was characterized by five league draws in a row before finally winning a game, a 5–2 victory against fellow bottom-feeder rivals Torino on 13 December 2008.

Mihajlovic was sacked by Bologna on 14 April 2009 in the wake of a 4-1 home defeat against Siena, which dragged the team back into the relegation zone with seven games remaining. His tenure suffered from media rumours that he had numerous high-profile disagreements with senior players at the club which led to the poor form that saw him relieved of his duties. Bologna avoided relegation to the Serie B on the last day of the season with a win over Catania.

Honours





  • Yugoslav Footballer of the Year: 1999


  • Daily Mail: Top 50 Best Free-kickers; #10


References

  1. Gabriele Marcotti, Making Mihajlovic into a villain not really fair, CNN Sports Illustrated, 2 January 2001.
  2. Uefa bans Mihajlovic, BBC Sport, 7 November 2003.
  3. Official: Bologna Sack Sinisa Mihajlovic, Appoint Giuseppe Papadopulo
  4. http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/sportchansen/article4953916.ab


External links




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