It has been amazing how one more time, football – „the most important unimportant thing in the world“, brought change and inspiration! Not just to Croatia but worldwide. We in Croatia have been witnessing visual, written and verbal messages that many of us received during the last few weeks of the football games and especially at the final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. People of different age and interest sent their good vibes, support and empathy with the team that showed several things that matter in life: courage, skill, common aim and united mind. These all make many things possible and inspire us for our own endeavours, creating passion and confidence.
We can rarely, rationally, understand phenomena such as football, its fans and the things that drive it all. However, we surrender to it, accept, and often follow the tidal wave it creates. My connection with this today over popular sport was very early in life since my father played football as a professional. He passed his genuine love for the game to we children and it has been within me ever since. Fondness for, as well as interest in, the game together with memories of the stories I heard a long time ago has kept this spark going. It has helped me understand better the commotion that has been going on during the tournament and just after it finished.
Croatia has filled with joy, pride and enthusiasm despite only second place achieved. This comparatively small country (only 4 million people), struggling with many issues, such as slow economic growth or political disputes and yet, it was all overcome, at least for a moment because of this one tournament in football that produced such a phenomenal, unexpected, result.
Soon the excitement will calm down and we will return to our daily things. This is inevitable. Still, we believe that this July moment of glory will stay in the memory of many and will inspire us as well as remind us repeatedly that anything and everything is possible. Sport is one of the special, positive things that unites, wherever and whenever it sparks its true, sincere and positive values.