Legendary Croatian football coach Miroslav ‘Ćiro’ Blažević dies
- by croatiaweek
- in News
Legendary Croatian football coach Miroslav ‘Ćiro’ Blažević, who led Croatia to bronze at the 1998 World Cup in France, has passed away on Wednesday at the age of 87.
Blažević died in Zagreb after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Affectionally known by his nickname, Ćiro was born in Travnik in Bosnia and Hercegovina on 10 February in 1935. He started playing football at the Bratstvo club in Travnik.
He enjoyed a playing career spanned from 1954 to 1966, during which he played for Dinamo Zagreb, Lokomotiva Zagreb, FK Sarajevo, HNK Rijeka and Swiss clubs FC Sion and FC Moutier.
As a manager, he was in charge of Croatia from 1994-2000. He won bronze with Croatia at the 1998 World Cup and earned the title “coach of all coaches”.
He managed Croatia in 72 matches and is still first on the list for being in charge for the longest period.
He also managed the national teams of Switzerland, Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina and China Olympic and had successful spells at FC Vevey, FC Sion, FC Lausanne-Sport, HNK Rijeka, GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Grasshopper Zürich, FC Prishtina, NK Osijek, NK Varteks, NK Zagreb, Shanghai Shenhua and FK Sloboda Tuzla.
U Zagrebu je nakon duge i teške bolesti preminuo legendarni Miroslav Ćiro Blažević🥉Omiljenom Ćiri neka je laka hrvatska zemlja🇭🇷, a najbližima izražavamo najdublju sućut u ime cijele nogometne obitelji koja je danas izgubila “trenera svih trenera” 💔🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/bmse8dqYjd— HNS (@HNS_CFF) February 8, 2023
Blažević is also the only person in history to receive Croatia’s Franjo Bučar State Award for Sports three times, in 1998 for individual achievement as a coach of the bronze-winning Vatreni and as a member of the national team, and in 2007 he earned the Lifetime Achievement award.
He was named honorary coach of Croatian national football team in 2021.