Jan 21, 1942
|Dead||Jun 13, 2018 (76 years old)|
Coupe de France (1971 avec Rennes)
Ilija Lukic was a striker. Born in Belgrade, he started his playing career with the Zeleznik youth team in his hometown. In 1961, he started his journey as a professional footballer with FK Pristina, in the Yugoslav Second Division. He stayed there for five seasons, during which he proved to be a prolific marksman, something which didn't escape the attention of Partizan Belgrade, who signed him in 1966. There, he would struggle to adapt to his new surroundings, and he would only spend a couple of months playing for one of the leading lights in Yugoslav football. The following season, he crossed the Atlantic to join the Oakland Clippers, with whom he would win the first North American Championship in 1968. After a promising season, notching 11 goals in 18 matches, he returned to Europe to help out Dutch side Heracles Almelo, before signing for Stade Rennais in 1969. Recruited as a replacement for Takac, he would have a convincing first season in the Rennes attack, playing alongside Rodighiero, scoring 15 goals. The following season saw his playing-time dwindle, with the competition from Betta and Guy, he made a mere 7 appearances in the league, and one in the French Cup. He would still end up with a satisfactory record in Red and Black, scoring 20 goals in 41 appearances in total. After two years in Brittany, he moved on to FC Rouen in the Second Division, before going on a tour of Europe, playing for Linz in Austria, where be changed his role to that of Player-Manager initially. He would then pass through Belgium at Rita Berlaar, where he finally hung up his boots and called time on his days as a player in 1977. He would ultimately return home to his native Serbia (ex-Yugoslavia) to coach teams, and also acquired his coaching badge at the school in Belgrade. This real globetrotter would go on to coach several teams in Africa as well as in the Arab peninsula, where he would win numerous trophies. Lukic obtained a degree at the University of San Francisco, and managed a total of 13 clubs. He passed away, aged 75, on 13th June 2018.