Milan Galic: Striker whose lethal eye for goal helped Yugoslavia to the European Championshp final and Olympic gold

 

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Milan Galic was one of European football's most lethal marksmen during the 1960s, scoring prolifically for his country, Yugoslavia, and both his principal clubs, Partizan Belgrade in his homeland and Standard Liège of Belgium. A magnificent athlete, pacy, agile and strong, the left-sided opportunist scored 37 times in 51 internationals, starting with a goal on his debut, a 2-0 win over Bulgaria in Belgrade in 1959.

Galic collected a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, his tournament highlight being a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw with the Bulgars. However, his contribution was tarnished temporarily when he was controversially sent off during the 3-1 victory over Denmark in the final, a dismissal that was later rescinded.

In the same year he scored against the Soviet Union in the inaugural European Championship final, but finished on the losing side after extra time. He excelled in Yugoslavia's progress to the 1962 World Cup semi-finals in Chile, where they lost to Czechoslovakia, and was voted national sportsperson of that year.

Galic, whose international days ended in 1965 despite plenty of shrewd observers reckoning he had a lot more to offer, had made his professional entrance with lower-league side Proleter Zrenjanin in 1955. He moved to Partizan in 1958, contributing 165 goals in 281 games as he shared in four title wins and reached the 1966 European Cup final, in which the Belgrade side lost 2-1 to Real Madrid in Brussels. In 1966 he joined Standard, helping them to two Belgian titles and one cup before completing his senior career with the French club Reims. Later he worked as a legal adviser with his national football association.

IVAN PONTING

Milan Galic, footballer: born Bosanko Grahovo, Yugoslavia 8 March 1938; died Belgrade 13 September 2014.

Comments