Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said on Saturday that he had a severe form of leukaemia but that he was sure he would win the battle.
Mihajlovic said in a news conference at the Serie A team’s headquarters that his condition was treatable and that he would be in hospital from Tuesday.
“I always play to win, both in football and in life. I’ll defeat Leukaemia,” the former Lazio and Inter Milan defender said, holding back tears.
“It will take time but I’ll recover,” he added.
Rumours about his health had spread over the past days as he did not join his team on a pre-season retreat, which started earlier this week in a Dolomites resort in north-east Italy.
“I have cried a lot on these days, but I don’t like it when someone comes and pities me,” Mihajlovic said.
Bologna’s General Manager Walter Sabatini said that Mihajlovic would remain the team’s coach, “whatever happens in the coming days”.
Serbian Mihajlovic, who was famous for scoring spectacular free kicks as a player, took over as Bologna coach last January, helping the team recover from the threat of relegation to finish 10th in the table.