Emiliano Mondonico
Emiliano Mondonico AI Project/ Reuters

Former Italian football coach Emiliano Mondonico died on Thursday at age 71, his family said.

Mondonico, former coach of Atalanta, Torino and Fiorentina among others, died in Italy's northern city of Milan after a long struggle with illness, reports Efe.

"Goodbye, dad. You have always been our role model and our strength. Now we will try to continue living the way you taught us," a post on Mondonico's official Facebook account said.

Mondonico started his career as a player at Cremonese in 1966 and played in Serie A with Torino for two years before heading to Atalanta for a year.

He retired as a player in 1979 and started his coaching profession at Cremonese that same year.

In 2011, Mondonico was forced to stop coaching due to serious illness and returned for a few months in 2012 to lead Novara, the last club of his coaching career.

(IANS)