Franco Baresi leads the tributes to Sinisa Mihajlovic following his passing from leukaemia

‘You fought to the end like a real man’: Italy icon Franco Baresi leads the tributes to Sinisa Mihajlovic following his passing from leukaemia, with Inter, AC Milan and Lazio all mourning the Serie A winner’s death

  • Sinisa Mihajlovic has died at the age of 53 following a long battle with illness 
  • He was diagnosed with leukaemia back in 2019 and suffered a relapse in March
  • Tributes have poured in across the footballing world for the Yugoslavia legend

Italy icon Franco Baresi leads the tributes paid to former Yugoslavia footballer and ex-AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who has died at the age of 53 following a fight with leukaemia.

The former Lazio and Inter Milan star has succumbed to his illness following a struggle of over three years having still been in the dug-out at Italian club Bologna just three months ago.

Former Italy and AC Milan captain Franco Baresi led the tributes to Mihajlovic after he passed away in a clinic in Rome on Friday.

Sinisa Mihajlovic, pictured when Bologna boss, has died aged 53 following a battle with leukaemia 

The former defender said: ‘Hi warrior you fought head high to the end real man. RIP.’

The Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni also pay her respects, by saying: ‘You fought like a lion on the pitch and in life. You have been an example and have given courage to many who are facing the disease. 

‘You have been described as an iron sergeant, you have shown that you have a big heart. You are and will always be a winner. To God Sinisa Mihajlovic.’

Deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini added: ‘I don’t want to believe it, you bloody bastard disease. Bon voyage #Sinisa, champion on and off the field. We will miss you so much.’

AC Milan have paid tribute by tweeting: ‘Heaven has gained another legend. You will be sorely missed, Siniasa.

Fellow Serie A outfit Sampdoria also posted: ‘Ciao Sinisa.’ While Inter Milan also joined in by writing: ‘You’re never ready to say hello to a travel companion. Hi Siniasa.’

One of his former clubs Lazio posted a statement on their website from president Claudio Lotito: ‘SS Lazio mourns the passing of Sinisa Mihajlovic: a great Lazio man, a warrior on the pitch and in life. 

‘His courage on the pitch was second only to that shown in the face of a serious illness, which never weakened him spirit and temper.

‘An indelible trace in the history of Lazio will remain of this fighter with a big heart, not only for having been Champion of Italy, but for the message of hope in the face of the difficulties that he was able to represent up to the last moment of his life.

‘We will remember him as he deserves, with the infinite embrace of his team and his people.

‘Our deepest condolences to the family.’

More to follow…