Faces of Soccer: Croatia – a letter to the nationwide crew

Faces of Football: Croatia - a letter to the national team

Pricey Croatian nationwide crew,

To start with, I hope you’re having an exquisite season thus far and are trying ahead to the World Cup as a lot as I’m. 

I nonetheless keep in mind one of many first letters I ever wrote. It was 1998, the summer season after we gained the bronze medal on the FIFA World Cup. I used to be 8 years outdated and soccer was all over the place. My cousin and I wrote letters to our fave gamers (that we would have had a crush on) – my favorite was Goran Vlaović, hers was Dario Šimić, and each had been a part of that unbelievable crew which I nonetheless can identify each single participant from, even 24 years later. 

That’s what the World Cup meant to me again then, and I’m certain most different children too. After a number of robust years within the early Nineteen Nineties, taking part in with your pals on the street or on the soccer discipline was one of the best factor ever. 

I nonetheless keep in mind the celebrations after beating Germany, even within the little village I grew up in. Can we try this once more this yr, please? So my child daughter can maybe have these fantastic reminiscences of her childhood too. 

You all know that quite a bit has modified in Croatia, and the world normally, over these 24 years, however we’re nonetheless very a lot obsessive about soccer and the nationwide crew. By way of ups and downs – from not qualifying for the 2010 match, to profitable the silver medal final time round – Croatia all the time lives and breathes the nationwide crew throughout huge competitions. 

I’m certain you, similar to us, will always remember the summer season of 2018: the match, the unbelievable celebratory day when the crew arrived dwelling. We’d like to see you do one thing related this time round. Regardless that this World Cup will likely be completely different in some ways to the final, and taking place throughout winter, I do know many Croats will journey to the new Qatar, and the ambiance will likely be unbelievable again dwelling too. You understand how passionate we might be and the way our assist can elevate the crew up throughout robust moments in video games. 

The ambiance is so necessary for us Croats – we’re emotional and passionate individuals. I really like that there appears to be a very nice ambiance within the squad too, each on and off the pitch, and I hope it continues all through the competitors (and past!). A combination of younger gamers like Joško Gvardiol and Lovro Majer, and people extra skilled ones – led by one and solely Luka Modrić – looks like a profitable mixture to me. I’m excited to see how far we’ll go.

Pricey Zlatko Dalić: you don’t have a straightforward job! Generally it’s harder to choose a crew when you’ve gotten so many good gamers to select from, however I’m certain you’ll do a fantastic job as soon as once more. After 5 superb years in cost, you recognize the squad higher than anybody else. My solely recommendation, nonetheless, could be to play Andrej Kramarić in his favoured place (we’re from the identical village so after all I’ve a smooth spot for him).

Pricey gamers: do your greatest on the pitch. Be as passionate as you had been in Russia in 2018 and perhaps you possibly can come dwelling with the trophy this time round. Is it attainable? Nicely, the ball is spherical, we now have a fantastic crew, I feel something can occur! Simply play each match prefer it’s the cup ultimate and we’ll be okay.

I’ll be cheering from again dwelling in Croatia, in Dalić’s metropolis of Varaždin, and explaining to my child daughter that it isn’t a foul factor if mommy shouts on the TV!

Good luck, and u boj u boj za narod svoj!

Anita

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