Thousands of people attended the funeral of Bosnian football legend Ivica Osim, who was laid to rest on Sunday in Sarajevo.
The funeral took place following a commemoration ceremony at Sarajevo’s National Theatre, where many public figures paid their respects to a man beloved and respected by many Bosnians, but also by fans throughout the world.
“Legends never die. Ivica Osim is the biggest name in football from Bosnia and Herzegovina. What he did for football in our country, in Austria, in Japan, is great and it will be talked about for hundreds of years,” one young man told N1.
“He united our football scene. The entire public will remember him,” another person said, stressing that a stadium in Sarajevo should be named after him.
“He was our idol. A man from whom we can learn a lot. We came from Graz to see him off to his eternal rest,” said a man who came from Austria to attend the funeral together with his child.
Osim died in Graz, Austria, at the age of 81.
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.
He also played for the national team of the former Yugoslavia and was one of the main players contributing to the team's second place at the 1968 European Championships.
He ended his career as a football player 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.