Sinisa Mihajlovic’s daughters reveal the Bologna Coach is more than just “a warrior. He’s the one who gives us strength” during his leukaemia fight.

The 50-year-old was diagnosed with the condition in July and just started his second course of chemotherapy this week, which is why he won’t be on the bench for Sunday’s Serie A match against Brescia.

He had been given special permission to leave the hospital for one night to be there for the opening game with Verona, though his presence was a surprise for the team too.

“He had promised the squad and kept telling the doctors that, so fortunately they did give him the green light. He said that he’d accept an extra year in hospital if it meant being on the touchline for the season opener,” daughters Viktorija and Virginia told Canale 5 talk show Verissimo.

“The news of this illness changed our lives. We are five siblings and a very close-knit family, so we know our Dad is a warrior and he never lets anything get him down.

“He is continuing the treatment and paradoxically he’s the one who gives us strength. He has overcome so many battles in his life, he’s got broad shoulders and so have we.”

Mihajlovic received a very early diagnosis thanks to regular checks, as he has a family history of cancer.

“We were in Sardinia and my Mother was on the phone with him. I asked what was happening and she told me through tears that it was leukaemia.

“You always think these things can’t happen in your family, especially to someone who does as much sport as our Father. But those days he spent at home, at times, I forgot he was even ill, as he never let us see he was suffering. He keeps behaving the same way as always.”

After that brief break back home in Rome, Mihajlovic has returned to the specialist clinic in Bologna.

“We wanted to thank everyone, because we’ve all received this wave of affection and it helped us so much. We even made friends with some kids our age in the hospital who were having the same treatment and it’s a terrible illness, but together, it can be overcome.

“Never give up.”


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Football Italia staff