STA, 18 May 2020 - Marko Elsner, one of the greatest Slovenian football players of all time, has died at the age of 60 after battling a severe illness for several years. One of his finest moments was winning an Olympic bronze medal with the Yugoslav team in 1984.
Born in Ljubljana in 1960, Elsner first played for the youth team of the Austrian club Wacker Innsbruck before returning to the home town to play with Slovan and then joining Olimpija Ljubljana in 1977.
In 1983, he was signed on by the Yugoslav powerhouse Red Star Belgrade and played with them four seasons. In this period he became a national team player, and was part of the Yugoslav team at the 1984 Olympics, winning the bronze medal.
The feisty defender went international in 1987, when he was acquired by Nice, playing a total of 105 games for the French club and scoring six goals. He returned to Austria in 1990 and finished his career in France in 1993.
Elsner played for the Yugoslav national team in 1984-1988, earning 14 caps, and also for the Slovenian team after the nation gained independence, making two caps - against Cyprus in November 1992 and against Estonia in April 1993.
He came from a football family, with his late father Branko Elsner (1929-2012) being one of the best Slovenian football coaches and officials.
His brother Brane was a long-serving member of the Slovenian Football Association, and his elder son Luka was the first Slovenian to be appointed the head coach of a club in the French top football league (Amiens).