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Serbia grieves for Yugoslav titan Mitić

Published: Monday 31 March 2008, 13.00CET
Serbian football is in mourning after Rajko Mitić, one of the greatest players in the former Yugoslavia's history, passed away in Belgrade on Sunday at the age of 86.
Serbia grieves for Yugoslav titan Mitić
Rajko Mitić lines up for FK Crvena Zvezda in the 1950s ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 31 March 2008, 13.00CET

Serbia grieves for Yugoslav titan Mitić

Serbian football is in mourning after Rajko Mitić, one of the greatest players in the former Yugoslavia's history, passed away in Belgrade on Sunday at the age of 86.
Serbia is in mourning after one of the greatest players in the history of the former Yugoslavia, Rajko Mitić, died in Belgrade on Sunday at the age of 86.

Tremendous record
Born on 19 November 1922, Mitić made his name as a striker with BSK Beograd, where he started his career in 1936, but it is with FK Crvena Zvezda that he holds legendary status. Joining the club following its foundation on 4 March 1945, he won five domestic titles and four Yugoslavian Cups over the next 14 seasons, a period that brought 262 goals in 572 appearances.

Coaching achievements
He registered 32 more strikes in 59 international appearances, and was a silver medalist at the 1948 and 1952 Olympic tournaments and also played in the 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cups. He went on to win four titles and three Yugoslavian Cups as Crvena Zvezda coach between 1959 and 1965 and then led Yugoslavia from 1966 to 1970, finishing runners-up at the 1968 UEFA European Championship.

Rare recognition
Mitić's immense contribution to the Belgrade club was recognised when he became the first player to receive an official Crvena Zvezda star. Only four other players have ever been given this award: Dragoslav Šekularac, Dragan Džajić, Vladimir Petrović and Dragan Stojković.

Last updated: 31/03/08 16.57CET

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