European football is mourning the loss of Croatian coach Tomislav Ivić, following the former AFC Ajax, RSC Anderlecht and FC Porto coach's death on Friday at the age of 77.
Ivić died in hospital in Split, the city where he started his career as a midfielder for RNK Split and HNK Hajduk Split before moving into coaching. He led Hajduk to three league titles and four Yugoslavian Cups in the 1970s, and was to win domestic titles in five other countries, with AFC Ajax (1976/77), RSC Anderlecht (1980/81), Panathinaikos FC (1985/86), FC Porto (1987/88) and Olympique de Marseille (1991/92).
Ivić also won the UEFA Super Cup and European/South American Cup with Porto in 1987, as well as the Portuguese Cup (Porto, 1987/88), the Spanish Cup (Club Atlético de Madrid, 1990/91). His most recent job in football was as head of the R. Standard de Liège academy, but he left that position due to ill health in 2006.
João Pinto, who played under Ivić at SL Benfica in 1992, said the coach was one of a kind. "He was a nice and funny person who enjoyed talking to the players. He had a unique style and took a lot of notes whenever he remembered something. He was the only coach who ordered me to train three times a day. Once before breakfast another after and a third one on the afternoon. Despite that, I enjoyed working with him."
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