Blatter mourns Miljanic passing
© Getty Images

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has written to express his sympathy upon learning of the death of Miljan Miljanic who died recently.

The former coach of Yugoslavia, Red Star Belgrade and Spain's Real Madrid and Valencia, passed away in Serbia at the age of 81.

After a brief career as a defender with Red Star, Miljanic coached the team and won ten national championships.

However, his greatest success was with Real Madrid, where he coached from 1974 to 1977. In the 1974/75 season, he became the first foreigner to win both the national championship and the cup in the same campaign.

In a letter to Tomislav Karadzic, the President of the Serbia FA, the FIFA President wrote: “I was deeply saddened to receive the news of former association President Miljan Miljanic’s passing and would like to express my heartfelt condolences to his family and Yugoslavian football as a whole.

Miljan Miljanic was one of those exceptional personalities in football who excelled as both a coach and an administrator, qualities which earned him the FIFA Order of Merit in 2002.

My thoughts and sympathy are with you at this difficult time and I wish you strength as you seek to come to terms with the loss of such an influential figure.”

Miljanic also briefly coached Valencia for a season from 1982. He was also the head coach of the former Yugoslavia national team, leading them to the 1974 and 1982 FIFA World Cups™.