ROME (AP)Italy coach Roberto Mancini and former Lazio players Attilio Lombardo and Dejan Stanković were among those who carried Siniša Mihajlović’s coffin out into a crowd of fans following the Serb’s funeral on Monday.
There was also a delegation from Red Star Belgrade, the team that
helped win the European Cup in 1991, plus the Bologna team that he coached for 3 ½ years in his final job.
Mihajlović, the former standout player who became a popular coach in Italy, died Friday after a long battle with leukemia. He was 53.
Lombardo and Stanković were teammates with Mihajlović on the Lazio team that won the Serie A title in 2000. Lazio’s current team was also on hand, as was the team’s mascot, a live eagle named Olimpia.
The funeral at a Rome basilica was conducted by Bologna Archbishop Matteo Maria Zuppi.
Mihajlović was a sentimental favorite of fans and players alike for his desire to remain on the job at Bologna even after he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019.
Players sometimes gathered under Mihajlović’s hospital window when the coach was receiving treatment.
The Serb was fired by Bologna in September.
A fullback and free kick specialist who played with ferocious intensity, Mihajlović still holds the Serie A record for most goals from free kicks with 28 – two more than Andrea Pirlo.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports