FIFA President Gianni Infantino has expressed his deep condolences to Slovak Football Association President Jan Kovacik over the passing of Jozef Venglos. The former midfielder and coach passed away, aged 84, in Bratislava on Tuesday.
“During his long coaching career, Jozef left an indelible mark on the history of football,” wrote President Infantino in a letter. “It is difficult to summarise in a few lines his journey, which saw him lead a great number of clubs and national teams, winning several titles.
“Jozef was the assistant coach of the national team when Czechoslovakia won the European Championship in 1976, and later coached them to the third place at the 1980 European Championship and reached the quarterfinals at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He was later appointed Slovakia's first national team coach after the country gained independence.
“During his long successful career, he also coached Australia, Malaysia and Oman and, at club level, notably managed SK Slovan Bratislava, Aston Villa FC and Celtic FC. He also managed other clubs in Australia, Slovakia, Portugal, Malaysia, Turkey and Japan.
“FIFA instructor, member of the Technical Study Groups of several FIFA World Cups, there is no doubt that Jozef left his mark on Slovak, European and world football, and contributed through his formidable commitment and exceptional dedication to the development of football and the promotion of our sport and its unique values throughout the world.
“Renowned figure, exemplary coach, holder of the FIFA Order of Merit, his legacy and achievements, and in particular his leadership, his personality, his work ethics and his human qualities will not be forgotten, and he will be truly missed.”