IN MEMORIAM: Fahrudin Jusufi (1939 – 2019)

Fahrudin Jusufi, former Yugoslav football player, passed away at the age of 79 in Belgrade, Serbia.

photo by FK Partizan Belgrad: Jusufi in Partizan uniform

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Jusufi was born on 8th of December 1939 in the village of Zli Potok near Dragaš, back then Vardarska Banovina, Kingdom of Yugoslavia. He was an ethnic Macedonian-Gorani.

During his career he played for Partizan, Eintracht Frankfurt, Germania Wiesbaden and Dornbirn, retiring in 1972. He was far before his time, being able to play both left and right-back. He won four national titles with Partizan and was part of the Partizan squad when they became vice-champions of Europe after losing 1966 European Cup final against Real Madrid. He also won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1967 with Eintracht Frankfurt.

The former defender made 55 appearances for the Yugoslav national team. He played at the 1960 EURO in France when Yugoslavia lost the final against USSR with 2:1 after extra time. Jusufi played the entire match. Later the same year he helped Yugoslavia win Gold medal at the summer Olympics in Rome. Two years later he was selected for the 1962 World Cup in Chile and was regular as the popular Plavi ended up 4th. Fahrudin wore always the number 3.

After retiring he started a coaching career in Germany during which he coached Schalke 04, Wattenscheid 09, 1860 Münich and Partizan.

Often mistaken for an Albanian due to his name, Fahrudin was once asked by Tempo what he thought of the ongoing conflict between the Serbs and Albanians on Kosovo to which he said: “Why would I care? I’m a Gorani, if that even interests anyone.”

Autographed photo of Jusufi in a Yugoslav top

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