Wednesday Jun 16, 2021  
  20/05/2011: The Bomber of Borovo !
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Siniša Mihajlović born on 20 February 1969 in Borovo, Yugoslavia (currently part of Croatia). As a child, Mihajlovic would annoy the neighbours by practising his free-kicks until late into the night, thumping his ball against the metal yard gates. "I soon realised," he said, "that the ball didn't want me to dribble it. So I just kicked it." By the time, he was in his early teens his shot was powerful enough that his father had to replace the gate every few weeks. "I always wanted to be a footballer," he went on. "In Borovo there was a local newspaper that gave information about the factory and other things that were happening in the village. Once they did a survey and asked pupils at the school what they wanted to do when they grew up. I was only seven or eight, but even then I wrote 'professional footballer'."

He started his career in Yugoslavia, playing for NK Borovo (1986–1988), Vojvodina Novi Sad (1988–1991), and Red Star Belgrade (1991–92). He won the European Cup in the 1990–91 season with Red Star Belgrade. In the final, Red Star defeated Olympique Marseille on penalties, after a 0–0 draw at full time, with Mihajlović being one of the scorers. He was also in the team later that year when Red Star Belgrade won the Intercontinental Cup, defeating Colo Colo 3–0.
In 1992, he moved abroad to play for AS Roma where he was brought on initiative by compatriot head coach Vujadin Boškov who just arrived to the club. He played two seasons at AS Roma, and just helping the club finish 10th and 7th in Serie A.
He joined Sampdoria in 1994 that has been coached by Sven-Göran Eriksson. In his four seasons at Sampdoria, he saw limited success in the Serie A competition. However, at the European competitions, he helped Sampdoria reach the semi-final of the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, where they were defeated by Arsenal.

Mihajlović with SS Lazio

In the summer 1998, Mihajlović was brought to Lazio by head coach Sven-Göran Eriksson and club president Sergio Cragnotti for ₤8.5 million. Very quickly after coming back to the capital he finally won his first trophy in Italy, as Lazio beat Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana during late August 1998.
With Lazio, Mihajlović reached the final of the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, winning the last edition of that competition with a 2–1 victory against RCD Mallorca. Lazio also won the 1999 UEFA Super Cup. Playing 26 games and scoring seven goals during the Serie A 1999–2000 season as Lazio won the second Scudetto in club history. Mihajlović completed the double by helping Lazio win the 2000 Coppa Italia.

He is a deadly free kick taker, and has scored numerous goals from his defender position, which earned him the nickname Bomber of Borovo. His style of free kicks differs from those of other prominent set-piece specialists in that he dips the ball into goal. He is considered one of the best free kick takers of all time, and holds the all-time Serie A free-kick record with 38 goals scored from free-kicks during his fourteen seasons in the top Italian league.
Mihajlović raised a storm of controversy due to alleged racist remarks directed at Arsenal's Patrick Vieira. The remarks fell during the ill-tempered match against Arsenal on 17 October 2000 in the UEFA Champions League. The racist remarks were revealed by Vieira after the match to be "nero di merda" (black piece of shit). Mihajlović subsequently apologized, but contended that his words were in retaliation to Vieira's remarks, calling Mihajlović a "zingaro di merda" (Gypsy piece of shit).
On 7 November 2003, Mihajlović received an eight matches suspension by UEFA for spitting at and kicking Chelsea's Adrian Mutu during a Champions League group stage match. Ironically, some six and a half years later, he would become the head coach of Fiorentina where Adrian Mutu plays.

His temper has always been prone to let him down. "As a kid I got into a lot of fights," he confessed. "I got beaten up and I beat people up. I fought with older children. I didn't get frightened”. In the Vieira and Mutu incidents, he seems to have been lashing out at a perceived slight: as he saw it, when his honour was besmirched, he had to redeem it. "I want to make clear that I reacted in that way, because I was provoked in a dishonourable way - as I was with Vieira," he said. "That, for better or for worse, is the way I am."

During his spell with Lazio from 1998 to 2004, he has played in 126 games and scored 20 goals from beautiful free-kicks.

He won his last trophy with Lazio in 2004, beating Juventus in the Coppa Italia final. In the summer 2004, he was released from Lazio and joined his friend Roberto Mancini at Inter Milan on a free transfer.

Mihajlović with National Team

Mihajlović has compiled 63 caps and scored 10 goals for the Serbia and Montenegro national team, the first 62 caps coming for when the country was called Yugoslavia. Mihajlović represented Yugoslavia at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, playing all matches in the tournament. He scored a goal against Iran, and conceded an own goal against Germany. This made Mihajlović one of only four players to score both a goal and an own goal in the World Cup; the other ones being Ernie Brandts, Ruud Krol, and Gustavo Peña.

He represented in National Team again, as he selected to compete at the Euro 2000 tournament. In the first game of the tournament, he was sent off against Slovenia. He served a one-game suspension before playing the last two games of the tournament. He retired from international football afterward.

(Ali Alkatiri)
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