Former Croatia Coach and Legendary Footballer Zlatko Cico Kranjčar Dies After Short Illness

By 1 March 2021
Former Croatia Coach and Legendary Footballer Zlatko Cico Kranjčar Dies After Short Illness

March 1, 2021 - Zlatko Cico Kranjčar, former Croatia national football team coach and father of football player Niko Kranjčar, has died.

Jutarnji List and reported that legendary Croatian football player and football coach Zlatko Cico Kranjčar has passed away. He died at KBC Merkur after a short and severe illness.

Zlatko Kranjčar's health deteriorated about ten days ago in Zadar, where he ended up in the hospital. He was urgently transferred to Zagreb, but doctors were unable to save his life.

Cico Kranjčar began his professional playing career in 1973 at Dinamo Zagreb, where he played until 1983.

He was a top center forward and scorer and scored 98 goals for Dinamo in 261 games. Kranjčar is recognized as one of the best strikers of Dinamo Zagreb. He took part in the famous Yugoslav championship in 1982, as well as two Marshall Tito Cups in 1980 and 1983.

Kranjčar then moved to Vienna club Rapid, where he became a legend of the club and remained until 1990. He scored 106 goals for Rapid in 201 games. This was followed by shorter adventures at Austrian clubs VS St. Pölten and SV Wienerfeld.

He played for Yugoslavia 11 times and scored 3 goals. He was one of only 15 players who responded to the premiere performance of the Croatia national team against the United States in October 1990. He played for Croatia twice and scored one goal. He was also the captain in the first game against the USA.

Kranjčar began his coaching career in 1991 as the coach of Wienerfeld Vienna in 1991. He led Dinamo on three occasions and was twice the champion of Croatia. As a coach, he will be best remembered for the champion generation of Zagreb in 2002, with whom he sensationally won the HNL.

He led the Croatia national team from 2004 to 2006 and played in the World Cup. Cico's Croatia finished third in the group against Brazil, Australia, and Japan.

He has led numerous clubs in his career. Segesta, LASK, Slaven Belupo, Samobor, Al-Masry, Mura, Marsonia, Rijeka, Croatia Sesvete, Al-Shaab, DAC Dunajska Streda, Persepolis and Sepahan. Cico was the coach of Iran and Montenegro.

Kranjčar was born on November 15, 1956.

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