Former Tottenham defender Goran Bunjevcevic has died at the age of 45.
Bunjevcevic, who in 2016 was elected to the board of the Serbian FA, ‘had fought bravely for over a month after suffering an aneurysm on 20 May,’ Red Star Belgrade, another of his former clubs, said.
‘With sadness, we report that Goran Bunjevcevic, former Crvena Zvezda captain and director of football, has passed away on 28 June 2018,’ the club said in a statement.
Sa velikim žaljenjem obaveštavamo javnost da je naš nekadašnji fudbaler i kapiten izgubio najvažniju bitku.— FK Crvena zvezda (@crvenazvezdafk) 28 June 2018
Počivaj u miru, Bunjo! Tvoja Crvena zvezda ❤️https://t.co/V0ytVjxcfI pic.twitter.com/8fdDRsJ9WX
Despite emergency surgery after his stroke, the former Yugoslavia international never regained consciousness.
Rest in peace Goran
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former player Goran Bunjevčević. The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with his friends and family at this extremely difficult time. pic.twitter.com/UryBkqz6as— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) 28 June 2018
Bunjevcevic played 169 matches for Red Star between 1997 and 2001, winning four major trophies.
The classy centre-back joined Tottenham from Red Star for £1.4m in the summer on 2001.
He played 51 times for the Spurs in an injury-hit spell at White Hart Lane, making his last appearance in February 2005.
The defender ended his career with Dutch side ADO Den Haag on 2007.
He was also capped 16 times by the Yugoslavia national football team between 1998 and 2003.
We would like to take this opportunity to offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends and all of those affected by the loss of former Tottenham Hotspur central defender Goran Bunjevcevic who sadly passed yesterday evening.#THFC #COYS— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) 29 June 2018
After Serbia’s opening World Cup victory to Costa Rica, captain Aleksandar Kolarov said the team’s victory was dedicated to Bunjevcevic.
"We dedicate this win to our director, and we want him to know that we are all supporting him," Kolarov said.