Robert Prosinecki resigned as Red Star Belgrade's manager on Monday after failing to make an impact at the 1991 European Cup winners and falling out with the board, the former Croatia midfielder said.
Prosinecki, who won Europe's elite club competition with Red Star as a player and finished third with Croatia in the 1998 World Cup, took over at Serbia's most trophy-laden club in December 2010 hoping to rekindle some of their past glory.
But mounting club debts and the dominance of bitter city foes Partizan, who have won five titles in a row, put him under pressure and it boiled over after Sunday's 2-2 home draw with 10-man neighbours Rad in their opening league game of the season.
"It was my decision because I just can't carry on," a dejected Prosinecki told a news conference at Red Star's dilapidated Marakana stadium.
"I am distraught because this is my club and I have spent the best moments of my career here.
"I did the best I could but it wasn't enough, I had no choice because I could no longer cope with the pressure. This team has a bright future but it will take time to build an outfit capable of getting results.
Red Star have not survived the winter break in Europe since 1992, the season after the club's moment of glory when they beat Olympic Marseille on penalties to win the European Cup in the Italian port of Bari.
As Serbian soccer suffered after the former Yugoslavia's bloody break-up in the 1990s, Red Star produced only a few world-class players such as Dejan Stankovic and Nemanja Vidic.
Prosinecki received a hero's welcome by Red Star fans when he took over but winning last season's Serbian Cup was not enough to keep him in charge after two poor league campaigns by their standards.
Serbia's Under-21 coach Aleksandar Jankovic, a former Red Star coach, has been tipped in the media as Prosinecki's likely successor and whoever steps in faces an immediately daunting task as Red Star face French side Bordeaux in the Europe League playoffs.
"I think Red Star are in with a fighting chance, they won't just roll over and I will support the lads with all my heart," Prosinecki said.
"I am saying all this from the bottom of my heart and I am really sad that I won't be in the dugout on Thursday."
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