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Former Croatia and Austria coach Otto Baric dies, aged 87

Otto Baric, one of Croatia’s most respected and successful football coaches, died Sunday at the age of 87 in Zagreb, the country’s football federation said.

The federation “sends its deepest condolences to Otto Baric’s family for this irreplaceable loss”, the organisation wrote on its official website.

The online outlet Index.hr reported that Baric died after falling ill with coronavirus.

During his 44 years in coaching, Austria-born Baric led more than a dozen clubs in Croatia, Germany, Turkey and Austria, where he coached the national team from 1999 to 2001.

He later took Croatia’s national team to the European Championship in Portugal after serving as their coach from 2002 to 2004.

Baric’s teams garnered some 19 trophies in total, including a Croatia championship title for Dinamo Zagreb in 1997.

Originally a player himself, he retired from coaching in 2007 after two years in charge of the Albanian national team.

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