Croatian football legend Jerkovic dead at 72
Croatian football legend Drazen Jerkovic, a top striker and the young nation's first national team coach died on Tuesday night at the age of 72, local media said.
He succumbed to heart failure amid complications following a recent amputation of his left leg, reported dpa.
Jerkovic scored two goals for Yugoslavia in the 1960 European championship semifinal win over France and was the tournament's best scorer. Yugoslavia lost the final 2-1 to the Soviet Union.
He was also joint top scorer at 1962 World Cup in Chile with four goals. He won 21 caps and scored 11 goals for Yugoslavia.
Jerkovic spent most of his professional career with Croatia's top club, Dinamo Zagreb, scoring a whopping 300 goals in 315 matches and winning the Yugoslav championship once and the cup twice.
He was signed by the Belgian side FC Gantoise late in his career, but never played for them owing to injury.
After retiring as a player, Jerkovic became an official and coach, working with Dinamo and FC Zagreb, Dinamo Vinkovci and Austrian clubs INCO Klagenfurt and Villach.
He also coached Yugoslavia in one match in 1971, and was the first coach of Croatia, in three matches in 1990, a year before it declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
His teams won all matches, against Greece in 1971 and United States, Romania and Slovenia in 1990, so he "may well be the only coach with perfect records with two national teams," the Slobodna Dalmacija daily said in an obituary.