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Former Celtic and Aston Villa manager Jozef Venglos dies aged 84

The former Celtic and Aston Villa manager Jozef Venglos has died at the age of 84. Venglos made history as the first manager from outside the UK and Ireland to take charge of a club in the English First Division when he was appointed Aston Villa manager in 1990.

Venglos spent just one disappointing season in charge of Villa, moving on to Fenerbahce, Slovakia and Oman before getting the top job at Celtic Park in 1998. The highlight of his time in Glasgow was a 5-1 win against Rangers but he was ultimately unable to prevent Celtic’s Old Firm rivals from reclaiming their Premiership title and lifting the trophy for the 48th time.

His managerial career began at club level in Australia, where he graduated to the national side and took charge of three Socceroos games – all against Scotland on their 1967 tour.

He also had spells in charge of the Czechoslovakia, Malaysia and Slovakia national teams, as well as roles on the Fifa and Uefa technical committees.

A statement on the Celtic website read: “Everyone at Celtic is extremely saddened to hear of the passing of our former manager, Dr Jozef Venglos, who has died at the age of 84. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Dr Jozef Venglos’ family and the whole of football in Slovakia at this very sad time.”

While Venglos’s time with Villa was not successful, with the side finishing 17th in the First Division having ended the previous season under Graham Taylor as runners-up to Liverpool, it had wider significance in paving the way for the influx of foreign managers.

Stan Collymore, who played for Villa from 1997 to 2000, wrote on Twitter: “Sad news that Dr Jo Venglos has passed away. First ever foreign manager to manage in the English top flight with Villa, didn’t last long but always came across as a decent man. Rest in peace, Dr Jo.”

Venglos’s most successful spells came with the Czechoslovakia national team. As assistant to Vaclav Jezek he won the 1976 European Championship before moving into the hotseat himself two years later and leading the country to a third-place finish at the next tournament.

He also made the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup in a second spell in charge, while he became the first manager of Slovakia after independence when he was appointed in 1993.

This post was originally published on this site

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