Sunday November 15 2020
Mihajlovic: 'Never thought I wouldn't win'

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic insists he ‘never even considered’ the possibility he wouldn’t beat leukaemia. ‘I told myself I couldn’t lose.’

He was diagnosed in July 2019, during pre-season training, and after months of chemotherapy, he had a bone marrow transplant.

“I am not one of those who say it’s the taking part that counts. No, I want to win,” he said on television show Domenica In.

“I took that approach to this battle, with that desire to win at all costs, and I never even considered the possibility I would lose.

“From the start, I told myself that I couldn’t lose this battle, for me and my family. I have a check-up every three months, the most recent was on October 29 a year on from the transplant, and it was perfect.”

Mihajlovic fully admits he has been a controversial figure at times, so was stunned by the waves of affection and support from all over the football world, including rival fans.

“It gave me a great deal of strength and I wasn’t expecting all this affection from everyone, regular folk, famous people, fans in all stadiums including ones where I wasn’t exactly popular. That affection was fundamental.

“Faced with all that love, I said to myself: I can’t let them down.”