Tributes have poured in for former player and manager Radomir Antic who has passed away aged 71, following a long battle with illness.
Antic is the only man to have managed all three of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
The Serbian enjoyed an illustrious playing and managerial career, which took him from Kenilworth Road to Camp Nou and spanned nearly 50 years.
Antic spent his early playing days in his native Serbia, where he represented Sloboda Užice and FK Partizan, winning the Yugoslavian Premier Division with the latter in 1976.
He moved to Fenerbahce that summer. After two years in Turkey, he got his first taste of Spanish football, signing for Real Zaragoza.
Antic saw out his final playing days at Luton Town, after joining the club in 1980. In the final game of the 1982/83 season, the defender scored four minutes from time at Maine Road to save the Hatters from relegation at Manchester City’s expense.
Luton paid tribute to their former player, writing on Twitter: “We are devastated to learn of the passing of Town legend Radomir Antic, at the age of 71. A true Hatters hero, for promotion and preventing relegation.
“The thoughts of all at Kenilworth Road are with his family and friends at this terribly sad time.
Rest in peace, Raddy.”
Antic hung up his boots in 1984, and four years later, he returned to Zaragoza for his first stint in management. He secured European football for the club, and that was enough for the might of Real Madrid to come calling.
He left the Bernabeu after a year in charge, and after a three year-spell in charge at Real Oviedo – where he saved the club from relegation – he joined Real’s rivals Atletico.
It was at Atleti where Antic would enjoy his most success in the dugout, guiding the club to the double in his maiden season in charge, as Atletico were crowned La Liga and Copa del Rey champions.
e left Atletico in 1998, but would go on to return on a further two occasions, before the pair eventually parted company for the final time in 2000.
In 2003, the coach made history when he was appointed manager of Barcelona, becoming only the second man (after Enrique Fernández) to take charge of both Real Madrid and Barcelona – and the first to have managed the two Madrid sides in addition to Barça.
Antic went on to manage Serbia, guiding his country to the 2010 World Cup finals. His final managerial job was with Hebei China Fortune in 2015.
Barcelona paid tribute to their former manager, writing on Twitter: “The Barça family mourns the loss of a man who was deeply beloved in the world of football. Rest in Peace.”