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Soccer manager Kuze passes away

Kyodo

Former J. League manager Josip Kuze died Monday of leukemia in Zagreb after several months of battling with the disease, French daily L’Equipe reported. He was 60.

The Croatian-born coach and former player spent most of his playing career as a defender for Dinamo Zagreb. From 1996 to 1997 he took charge of Gamba, where he led the team to fourth at the end of his term at the helm in 1997. He coached JEF United Chiba starting in 2008, but his reign there lasted just four months.

Kuze also managed the Rwandan and Albanian national teams. Last year, he was appointed manager of Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda, where he took the squad into the AFC Champions League.