Ivica Osim dies at the age of 81

Source: Damir Hajdarbašić, fkz.ba

Legendary football player and coach, Sarajevo-born Ivica Osim died in Graz, Austria, at the age of 81.

Osim spent the last few years of his life in the Austrian town.

The football expert, nicknamed Svabo, was born on May 6, Sarajevo in 1941. He was building up his youth football career in the Zeljeznicar football club from 1954 to 1959.

After leaving the juniors, he started playing for the A team in the 1959/1960 season. He played for the club for a total of 11 years, during which time he collected 250 official appearances and scored 75 goals. In 1970 he went to France where he played for Strasbourg, Sedan and Valenciennes.

Strauss, which was Osim's another nickname he got for his blonde hair, also played for the national team of the former Yugoslavia. He collected 16 appearances, scoring 8 goals. He was one of the main players in winning second place at the 1968 European Championships.

During that time he was an unusually tall player, but of a characteristically long stride. He drew attention with his incredible technique and the ease with which he overcame opposing players. It seemed as if the players were falling around him, and if he didn't assist his teammates, he would score goals on his own. Radio and newspaper reporters often reported with astonishment that he was making it all happen despite his slow movements. He was also named the best player in Yugoslavia in 1967.

He ended his playing career in 1978, after which he became a very successful coach. He successfully led FC Zeljeznicar from 1978 to 1986. He was also the head coach of the Yugoslav national team, the coach of Partizan, Panathinaikos, Sturm, JEF United, and his last coaching engagement was as the head coach of Japan.

Osim will also be remembered for being the coach of FC Zeljeznicar in the iconic semifinals of the UEFA Cup against Videoton at the Grbavica stadium. After the 3-1 defeat in Hungary, the team had 2-0 result until the 87th minute, and then they conceded a goal and dreams of the finals with Real Madrid fell apart. The match was watched by 25,000 fans.


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