Ivica Osim is dead The last coach of the Yugoslav national football team was 80 years old. In club football he has become a legend in Austria.
The world of football mourns the passing of Ivica Osim. The longtime coach passed away on Sunday, just days before his 81st birthday, at his foster home in Graz.
Osim went down in history as the last coach of a Yugoslav national football team. With the “Blues” he reached the quarter-finals at the 1990 World Cup and failed on penalties against the eventual Argentina finalist. Osim and his team, who were considered title favorites, missed the 1992 EM to due to the exclusion of all Yugoslav sports teams following the armed conflicts that broke out in the Balkans. “I can no longer be happy. After everything that has happened in my home country, there is no more joy,” Osim later said of the tragedy.
The Serbian coach, former Milan star Dejan Savicevic, was shocked by the news, brought to him by the journalists of the newspaper Informer. “What? No, no, it can’t be true,” said the former world-class midfielder, who was a starter under Osim at the 1990 World Cup, before replying with the comment “I don’t know I want to cry in front of you in this moment”. he asked for privacy.
“Century Trainer” in Austria
Osim had spent most of his playing career in France. During his second stint at Racing Straßburg (1976-78) he was Arsène Wenger’s teammate and has been linked with his subsequent coaching colleague ever since. “We are good friends”, said Osim a few years ago in “Spox” about the French. “He played on the right side of the midfield, he was a technically good water carrier. Big strides like a giraffe, a correct player. Arsene only talks about football. Anytime and anywhere, only football, football.”
Osim has made a career as a coach: after two years at Panathinaikos Athens, the former striker arrived at Sturm Graz in Austria in 1994. “Švabo”, the Swabian, as he was called since his youth because of his blond hair, has led the Styrians to their first championship in 1998 and in the following years to the Champions League sensationally three times. In 2009, Osim was named “Coach of the Century” for his services at the club.
After a stroke in 2007, Osim ended his coaching career but was still in demand as an expert and consultant in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria.