The case wanted the first person buried on Mirogoj in 1876, the day after the cemetery was opened, to be Friedrich Miroslav Singer, a popular Austrian and Croatian sports pedagogue, the founder of exercise in Zagreb schools and the head of the first gym in Croatia.
After that, countless Zagreb sports greats found their last home on Mirogoj, many of whom are also known internationally. There are also those who achieved fame outside Zagreb, such as the famous football player Bernard Vukas, a native of Zagreb from the neighbourhood Trešnjevka. Vukas started his football career at HŠK Concordia from Zagreb, but later he went on to become Hajduk Split’s all-time greatest. At Hajduk, he won the Yugoslav championship three times, played a total of 615 games and scored 300 goals. Tomislav Crnković, an extremely popular Dinamo Zagreb defender in the 1950s and a record holding captain, also found peace there. He won two national championships and two cups with Dinamo, and Olympic silver in Helsinki in 1952 with the national team.
Mirogoj is the final resting place of Zlatko Kranjčar, famous Zagreb football player and coach. Kranjčar played 307 games for Dinamo, scored 98 goals and won the national title in 1981/82. He continued his career at Rapid Vienna, winning the Austrian Championship twice and the Super Cup three times, which is why he is known among football fans in that country as well.
Among basketball players, the most famous name at Mirogoj is Dražen Petrović, one of the greatest Croatian and world basketball players, who is considered the pioneer of the wave of European basketball players in the NBA. Dražen, who tragically lost his life at the age of 29, is one of the greatest Croatian athletes of all time. After Dražen, Krešimir Ćosić, a great Croatian basketball player and coach, also found his final resting place on Mirogoj. In amateur basketball, he won almost everything that can be won (European, world and Olympic golds), and he left a significant mark in American university basketball as well.
Matija Ljubek, the most trophy-winning Croatian canoeist and one of the most successful Croatian athletes in general (two golds, one silver and bronze Olympic medals), was also buried at Mirogoj. Ljubek still holds the all-time record in terms of Olympic medals won in men’s individual sports among Croatians.
Fans of table tennis at Mirogoj should visit the grave of Dragutin Šurbek, multiple European and world champion in doubles and European champion in singles. Nicknamed Šurba, he also won an impressive number of other medals at major competitions and was the first European to find a “formula” against the once invincible Chinese.
Fans of handball can visit the grave of Zlatan Saračević, a Croatian handball player and coach and two-time European club champion with RK Badel 1862 Zagreb. The popular Sarač was also the winner of Olympic and world gold medals.
A visitor to Zagreb can easily find the graves of these and other Croatian (and not only) great athletes at Mirogoj, using the very practical application Cemetery guide Mirogoj Zagreb.