Death of Miroslav Blazevic, ex-selector who had brought Croats to third place in 1998 World Cup

The former player and then a football coach had achieved a feat by bringing the Damieurs selection to the semi-finals of the World Cup in France, three years after the end of the civil war in his country.


The legendary Croatian coach, Miroslav “Ciro” Blazevic, who won with the Damieurs selection the bronze medal in the World Cup in 1998, died Wednesday, February 8, two days before her 88th birthday, announced the Croatian federation of Football.

“The football family has lost today” the coach of all the coaches “”, a nickname by which Miroslav Blazevic was known through the Balkans, Tweeted the Croatian federation . He died after a long battle against cancer diagnosed in 2011.

Born in Bosnia February 10, 1935, Miroslav Blazevic had led Croatia to 63 years in the semi-finals of the World Cup disputed in France, whose selection had beaten the Croats (2-1) in the semi-finals, before to win a final against Brazil.

During the World Cup, he had made himself famous by wearing a kepi to pay tribute to the French gendarme Daniel Nivel, seriously injured by German hooligans before the quarter-final Germany-Croatie.

This medal, won by beating the Netherlands (2-1), represented a great victory for the very young independent country since 1991, won only three years after a war (1991-1995) which had made around 20,000 dead.

After a player career in ex-Yugoslavia and Switzerland, “Ciro” had started in 1968 that of coach in Switzerland, notably at FC Sion, the training with which he won the Swiss Cup in 1974. His First big victory was the title of champion of Yugoslavia won with Dinamo Zagreb in 1982, which had made him very popular.

He also led to training in France (Nantes), Greece, China, Iran, Slovenia and Bosnia. He was coach of Switzerland, Iran, Bosnia and the Chinese Football Olympic team.

Miroslav “Ciro” Blazevic, to whom Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic dedicated 3rd place won during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, was known especially for his motivation capacity, a coach “capable of fully changing the mentality Clubs in a short time “, according to the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List.

/Media reports cited above.