ZAGREB, November 11, 2016 (Croatian news agency HINA) - This morning, the oldest Croatian Olympian and winner of silver medal at the Summer Olympics London 1948 Željko Čajkovski, died in Munich at the age of 91.
Željko Čajkovski was born in Zagreb on May 5, 1925 and he was the younger brother of the legendary Zlatko “Čik” Čajkovski.
He began his active career in Zagreb’s HAŠK, where he played already in 1935 for the youngest sub-juniors, then for the juniors, and from 1942 to 1945 he played for the first academic team.
After the club was dismissed by then government, in 1945 Čajkovski first becomes player of the football section of Cavalry Brigade in Zagreb, and in the same year the player of the newly formed soccer club Dinamo Zagreb, for which he was playing until 1956 and with which - at the championships 1947/48 and 1953/54 – he has won the title of Yugoslav National Champion in football. With Dinamo Željko was also the winner at the Yugoslav Cup in 1951. He played 447 matches and scored 249 goals for Dinamo.
After leaving Dinamo, Željko Čajkovski was playing for Werder Bremen from 1956 to 1958, and then from 1958 to 1960 for FC Lichtenfels, where he was a player and coach, and where he ended his active sports career.
Željko Čajkovski was a very fast player, sharp, with excellent technique, a great left foot shooter, very agile, with great overview of the game and a great quarterback. In HAŠK he played as a clutch in threesome combination Kacijan - Wölfli - Željko Čajkovski, and in Dynamo he was playing in the unstoppable quintet Beda - Kacijan - Golob - Željko Čajkovski - Kokotović.
For the Yugoslav National Team, he has played, from 1947 to 1951 - as a Dinamo player - 19 matches and scored 2 goals. He made his debut on May 11, 1947 in Prague, in a friendly match in which Czechoslovakia defeated Yugoslavia with 3: 1. He said goodbye to the national team on June 24, 1951 in Belgrade, in a friendly match where Yugoslavia defeated Switzerland with 7: 3. He participated in the World Cup in 1950 in Brazil. In the 114th minute he scored the decisive third goal in the qualifying match with France on December 11, 1949 in Florence, when Yugoslavia won with 3: 2 and secured participation at the World Cup in Brazil.
He participated at the Olympic Games in 1948 in London and he is the holder of a silver medal.
After the completion of his active sports career, Željko Čajkovski was working 11 years as a coach in Germany. From 1964 to 1966 he was coaching the SpVgg Furth, followed by coaching the Borussia Neunkirchen from 1967 to 1969, then from 1971 to 1974, Ulm, then for some time in 1974 he was coaching the VFR Heilbronn and in 1975 the Wacker 04 from Berlin.
By profession, Željko was a BSc in Economy. While studying, each trip he went on as a football player, he had a script under his arm. When he was playing in Germany, he was employed at Siemens.
For many years, Željko Čajkovski was the only living holder of silver medal from the London Olympics 1948 and until recently our oldest living Olympian.