Legendary coach Ivica Osim has died

In his native Bosnia and Graz, Usim enjoyed legendary status throughout his life. He held the position of Sturm Graz as a mid-sized company, winning the championship twice (1998, 1999), the cup three times (1996, 1997, 1999), and reached the Champions League three times (1999 to 2001) thanks to offensive football. As Osim always emphasized, Graz became his “second home”.

His death on May 1 – which was also Sturm’s 113th birthday – was a surprise to many despite a long history of illness – including the black and white courtiers, who, despite the rain, made a pilgrimage to the local Graz mountain Stöckl to celebrate his birthday Sturm and the center celebrated by the runner-up. Then club president Jock announced the death of the storm legend with tears in his eyes. “If we grieve together, it makes things easier.”

Legendary coach Ivica Osim has died

Ivan “Ivica” Usem, one of the most successful football coaches who ever worked in Austria, has passed away. His philosophical approach to sports and his constant struggle for peace in his homeland earned him fame as a sage. The founding party of SK-Sturm was supposed to take place on Sunday. have been cancelled.

“Our coach of the century passed away on our club’s birthday. Ivica Osim was not only an amazing coach but also one of the greatest people I have had the honor to meet. He was the biggest symbol of our club and I will never forget the many hours we spent together,” said Jock. An influence beyond football and his words will be with us forever. The Storm family has lost one of the greatest people we have ever known. I offer my deepest condolences to his wife, two children and all his family. Rest in peace, Evan! “

JEBA / Guinter Flock

“Osim was not only a great coach, he was also one of the greatest”

A critical look at football

Osim, who had never fully recovered from a stroke at the age of 66 and had not left his home in the St Peter district of Graz for a long time, was one of the most successful football coaches who ever worked in Austria. His philosophical approach to the world’s most popular sport and his constant struggle for peace in his homeland earned him a reputation as a sage. The horizon of the studied mathematician and philosopher has always been broad and yet focused on an average length of 105 meters and 68 meters wide in a rectangular shape.

Osim once said, “Every day without football is a lost day,” and lived accordingly. He watched “everything in football” on TV, although he deeply regretted the continued marketing and aspirations like the Premier League. “Football today is FIFA and Real Madrid. It’s all about money. Too bad.” Useem celebrated his 80th birthday a year ago amid the coronavirus pandemic, and longed for the football pitch. “I would like to visit the Sturm Games again. If they lose after that, it’s my fault,” he said somewhat superstitious.

Archive record from 1999 showing Ivica Fastek and coach Ivica Osim with the trophy

Geba / Hans F. Hallmark

The humble successful coach: Ivica Osim on the right alongside his then Sturm star Ivica Vastic

The Amazing 90’s Storm

For Osim, success has always meant more than the number of awards in the treasury. “A team is successful when they make a difference, not because of their trophies.” Under the guidance of offensive messenger, Storm shone with a brave group of football, the masterpiece of the team was the “Magic Triangle” with Ivica Fastic, Mario Haas and Hans Reinmeier, that Useem’s freedom and amazing thanks to him astoundingly earned at the wedding in the end of the ’90s.

File photo showing coach Ivica Osim (Sturm Graz) with the championship plaque and cup trophy

Jeba / Daniel Ronig

With Sturm, Useem won the championship twice and the cup three times

When the stadium in Lipinau was trembling with enthusiasm, Useem casually, almost uninterestedly, grabbed the belt of the tram that was fixed above the dugout. With a lofty restraint, almost verging on denial, he put success after success into perspective – and ensured his stars reliably returned to Earth after fantasy travels. The master of simplification, at best, managed to smile mischievously even in moments of supposed happiness.

A love-hate relationship with Kartnig

This even mostly ended once Hannes Cartnig got close to getting rid of his coach in a camera-friendly way. Useem had a kind of love-hate relationship with the club’s president at the time, a stormy relationship with many ups and downs, which finally collapsed in 2002: the increasingly harsh public criticism of Cartnig prompted Usim to relinquish the coaching position after eight years. – A bullying lawsuit ensued, and Osim received 173,822 euros. Donate money.

Osim continued his coaching career from 2002 to 2006 at Japanese club JEF United. There, too, he met an unsuccessful team, which made him win the cup. The Asians were very happy that the researcher was assigned the position of team manager in 2006, but soon after he had a stroke – while watching football in front of the TV. In spite of everything, Osim must once again render his homeland a valuable service. As head of the “Normalization Committee”, Osim was able to lift the international ban on the Bosnian Federation in 2011, and three years later, his country participated in the World Cup.

“Ostrich from Zeljo” changed the jersey of Pele

With his soccer skills, Useem made a name for himself early on. He excelled as a technically talented party at Zeljeznicar Sarajevo, the railway workers’ club, and became a Yugoslav player before moving to France.

Because of his feat of playing and dancing style, he was nicknamed “Zeleo Strauss”. He said: “You can’t be elegant at 1.90 metres. I dribble a lot, and have fun with the ball.” He was able to defend the balls. “If there is no solution, it is said: Give the ball to Strauss!”

The following anecdote shows how good Osim was: when he visited Santos Sarajevo with Pele in 1969 to play against a local team, Osim was injured. When Pele felt the wind, he is said to have said, “If Ussim doesn’t play, I don’t play either.” Not him, but the Brazilian football king is said to have asked Usim about the exchange.

War robbed a handsome smile

Osim grew up in a working-class atheist family in Sarajevo and married a Muslim woman, with whom he had three children. But the idyllic, multicultural character of the 1984 Olympic city has become more fragile. When the former Yugoslavia plunged into civil war, Usem led the national team, which was full of great hits. The country was to go to emerging markets in 1992 as one of the candidates, but was left out due to the turmoil of the war.

On May 23, 1992, when bombs fell on his beloved city during the siege, Usim organized a very sad protest. In tears, he resigned as team president at a press conference in Belgrade. “It’s the only thing I can do for the city so that you also remember that I was born in Sarajevo. And you know what happens there.” The trauma of war would haunt Usim all his life, he never understood nationalism. Years later, he admitted: “I lost my smile at the time.” The love for football remains.

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