Football in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is in mourning at the death of national team sporting director and former FYROM goalkeeper Petar Milosevski.
Milosevski, who was 40, died in a road accident near Kumanovo, 40km north-east of Skopje, on Thursday after taking part in a charity futsal match in the city. Rated as one of the best custodians in the country's football history, Milosevski was appointed sporting director of the FYROM national side shortly after he ended a distinguished 22-year playing career, which featured 59 national-team appearances from 1998 to 2011.
Born in Bitola, Milosevksi began his career with FK Pelister before joining FK Vardar, with whom he won a Macedonian league title (1995) and two national cups (1995 and 1998). He also wore the goalkeeper's jersey for Turkish clubs Trabzonspor AŞ, Malatyaspor and Akçaabat Sebatspor, as well as for Enosis Neon Paralimni FC in Cyprus.
The Football Federation of Macedonia (FFM) said that Milosevski's passing was "a great tragedy for Macedonian football", adding: "We have lost a great football professional, who was selflessly and wholeheartedly involved in improving Macedonian football. He was a true football legend in every sense of the word, and a man who always believed that good results come with honesty, sincerity and hard work. Petar remained devoted to his principles until the last moment, and he will be remembered for that."
FYROM coach and former team-mate Boshko Djurovski said: "I have known him since the start of the Macedonian national squad when we were room-mates. We have lost a good man, a great athlete." SSC Napoli forward Goran Pandev added: "I still cannot believe it. I am still in shock. Petar's death is a huge loss to his family, his children, but also to Macedonian football."
The goalkeeper's coach at Pelister, Vardar and with the national side, Gjoko Hadjievski was devastated. "I want to believe this is just a bad dream and I'll wake up and Petar will be still with us," he said. "He was like a son to me. I worked with him since he was ten."
"We are deeply saddened by the death of Petar Milosevski, who protected our team's goal for three seasons," Trabzonspor said. "Our heartfelt condolences go firstly to his relatives and friends." Enosis expressed their "deepest grief for the unfortunate loss of our long-serving goalkeeper," describing Milosevski as "our beloved friend, a man with a big heart and never without a smile – a man who truly loved our club".
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