GREAT PLAYERS: SERGIO CHIRAZ

Sergio Chiraz was born in Croatia in 1929. He usually played at half-back but could also play as a forward.

Sergio joined Montreal Cantalia in the National Soccer League before the 1959 season from Split in Yugoslavia. On June 10 Sergio represented the Montreal All-Stars in an exhibition game against West Bromwich Albion. The English tourists won 4-0 in front of 7,000 fans at Delorimier Stadium in Montreal.

Sergio helped Cantalia win the 1959 National Soccer League championship. They also won the local Labatt Cup Trophy by defeating Montreal Hungaria.

In the 1960 season Cantalia played in the National Soccer League as well as playing in a number of exhibition games that was organised as the North Atlantic Cup. In of these cup games Cantalia played to a 3-3 tie with Serie A club Sampdoria.

Cantalia finished fourth in the 1960 NSL standings. The club lost in the playoff finals to Toronto Italia.

Cantalia joined the new Eastern Professional Soccer League in 1961. The league was composed of former National Soccer League clubs Cantalia, Hamilton Steelers and Toronto Italia. In addition they added Toronto City with star players like Stanley Matthews, Johnny Haynes and Danny Blanchflower.

Montreal Cantalia defeated English first division club Birmingham City 1-0 on May 21, 1961. The exhibition game was watched by a crowd of 6,000 at Delorimier Stadium.

On October 9 Cantalia won the President’s Cup by beating Toronto Italia 3-0 in the last game of the best-of-three playoff finals. Cantalia won two games and tied one to clinch the trophy. The trophy was handed over from league president Harold Ballard to Sergio, who was Cantalia’s captain.

Sergio played for Cantalia in the Quebec National Soccer League in the 1962 season and also for Cantalia II in 1963.

Sergio passed away on May 25, 2019 in Montreal.

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