Mihajlovic takes charge of Bologna's Serie A opener amid leukaemia recovery

The former Yugoslavia international confirmed last month he had been diagnosed with cancer but had no plans to step down from his position as coach

Sinisa Mihajlovic will preside over Bologna’s Serie A opener on Sunday despite his ongoing recovery from leukaemia.

Mihajlovic, 50, confirmed last month he had been diagnosed with cancer but had no plans to step down from his position as coach.

The club confirmed 10 days later that the first round of Mihajlovic’s treatment went to plan, adding he was set for a further three weeks of visits “to monitor blood and clinical parameters”.

Mihajlovic missed Bologna’s pre-season tour as a result and his appearance for the first match of the season at Verona was by no means a given.

But the club confirmed on Sunday the former Serbiainternational will be in charge.

Mihajlovic was appointed Bologna manager in January, replacing the out-going Filippo Inzaghi to begin his second spell at the club he first left in 2009.

It was the second time that the Serb had directly replaced Inzaghi as boss of a club, having been brought in when the Italian was sacked at AC Milan in 2015.

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Bologna enjoyed a dramatic upswing in form after the Serb was appointed, winning eight of their last 12 games of the 2018/19 season to haul themselves to a 10th-place finish.

He enjoys near-legendary status in Italy, with his reputation first being secured during spells as a midfielder at Roma, Sampdoria and Lazio during the 90’s and 00’s.

He holds the record for the highest number of free-kicks scored in Serie A, an accolade he holds jointly with Andrea Pirlo, and is widely considered to be have been one of the finest free-kick takers of all time.

He was a member of the Red Star Belgrade team that shocked the world to win the European Cup in 1991, the penultimate edition of the tournament before it was re-branded as the Champions League a year later.

He appeared at both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, representing a reduced Yugoslavia team following the fragmentation of the former federal republic.

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