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This Monday, April 6, the former FC Barcelona coach Radomir Antic has died at the age of 71. Born in Zitiste (Serbia) on November 22, 1948, he arrived at the Blaugrana in early 2003 to replace coach Louis van Gaal.
Antic took over FC Barcelona on February 2, 2003, when they were 15th in the league but in a good position in the second phase of the Champions League. He coached Barça in 24 official matches, winning 12, drawing eight and losing four. In the short space of time he was at Camp Nou, he managed to qualify for the UEFA Cup (finishing sixth in the league), though Barça were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, in extra-time, by Juventus at Camp Nou.
During those few months, Antic had the likes of Xavi, Puyol, Luis Enrique, Iniesta and Víctor Valdés under his control, in addition to players such as Kluivert, Riquelme, Saviola, Cocu and Mendieta, among others. After his departure, Frank Rijkaard would take his place.
A great career as a player and coach
Antic was a football player before his coaching career. He started at the Yugoslav side, Sloboda Uzice (1967-1968), before joining Partizan Belgrade (1968-1976). At Partizan current Barça basketball coach, Svetislav Pesic was playing for their basketball team. In 1976 he left his country to sign for Fenerbahçe (1976/77) before spending two seasons at Zaragoza (1977-79), and five seasons with Luton Town in England (1979-84).
As a coach, Antic started at Partizan Belgrade (1985-88) and continued at Zaragoza (1988-1991), Real Madrid (1991-1992) and Oviedo. In 1995 he began his most successful period, at Atlético Madrid (1995-98), achieving a league and Copa del Rey double (1995/96). He coached Atléti on two further separate occasions (1999 and 2000) and Oviedo (2000/01 season). After Barça, he coached at Celta (2004), the Serbian national team (2008-2010) and two Chinese teams: Shandong Luneng (2012-13) and Hebei China Fortuna (2015).
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