Former Serbian footballer, Miljan Mrdakovic has died at the age of 38 after reportedly shooting himself in the head after struggling with depression and anxiety.
Local media report that the retired Partizan Belgrade, Anderlecht, and Gent striker took his own life in his rented Belgrade apartment over the weekend after saying “I can’t take this anymore”.
His heartbroken partner and singer, Ivana Stanic, told the media: ‘We had an ideal relationship, everything was great.
‘But he had problems, he liked to drink and I think that, in addition to the problems he had with depression, is the main reason why he did it.
‘After the end of his career, he struggled to cope because football meant everything to him.
‘He started working as an agent, but it is a job where sometimes you have work and earnings, sometimes you don’t. He was depressed and anxious.
‘The day before the suicide he drank a little too much and I felt like something bad could happen. I calmed him down, dragged him to bed and we talked all night.
‘When we woke up, he started drinking. I froze when I saw a gun next to him. I cried and asked him to put it away and I called his mother to talk to him.
‘I asked him to come with me and went to the bathroom to get dressed. Every now and then I looked at what he was doing and then suddenly I heard a shot. I ran away from the apartment and called the paramedics.’
Mrdakovic played for twenty clubs across 10 countries including Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Isreal. He also played nine matches with Serbia U21s and three times for Serbia at the 2008 Olympics.
Former club Maccabi Tel Aviv posted a statement, reading: “Maccabi Tel Aviv is saddened to learn of the passing of the club’s former Serbian striker, Miljan Mrdakovic, who died in tragic circumstances on Friday in his native Belgrade, aged 38.
“Mrdakovic played for Maccabi in the 2006-07 season under then-coach Eli Cohen, and as a 24-year-old he made an immediate impression when in the opening round of the season he scored a spectacular goal against Beitar Jerusalem as he beat three defenders in a solo run that began in his own half before unleashing a powerful shot from the edge of the area.
“That season was his only campaign with Maccabi Tel Aviv in which he scored eight goals and set up four others in 29 appearances. After leaving Maccabi he moved to Portugal.”