From Argentina to Australia, Croats celebrate the victory against England.
Croatia is in euphoria after the national football team reached the World Cup finals for the first time in the history. However, celebrations are not taking place just in Croatia, but all around the world. Croatian fans in Argentina, the United States, Australia, Germany, Ireland and many other counties have joined the festivities.
In Cordoba, Argentina’s second-largest town, Croatian fans formed a procession of cars to celebrate the entry into the finals. “We are all delighted. Croatia owns one half of our hearts. We still cannot believe we have entered the finals,” said Federico Jelic, Argentinean journalist with Croatian roots.
About a thousand Croats live in Cordoba and they usually gather at Hogar Croata, where they watched all the matches. Among the fans was Croatia’s honorary consul in Cordoba Nikola Nakić.
“Argentineans have been celebrating together with us. You know that people in Argentina do not like England very much,” said Jelic. “Twenty years ago, France stopped us on our way to the title, but this time they will not.”
Jelic attended the Argentina-Croatia match in Russia, saying that was a special moment for him. “It was a special match for me because two of my homelands played. I rejoiced and mourned at the same time,” he said.
Reports about celebrations are coming from Chicago as well, where a match-viewing party was organised at the Croatian Cultural Centre. There were about 500-600 people in the hall. Journalists from ABC7, the Chicago Tribune and CBS Channel 2 also came. The celebration passed without any incidents.
“We celebrated and sang long into the night. We have not had such celebrations in Chicago for a long time. The players were really great, they fought to the very last second,” said Iva and Marko Lugarić, who have been living in Chicago for many years. “Even the Americans, after they realise we are Croats, say we played great football.”
In New York, the fans gathered at the Croatian parish of St. Cyrillic and Method.
Croats in Australia also organised parties and watched the match throughout the country, and many of the restaurants and cafes worked all night. “Everything started at four in the morning, so there will be a lot of sleepy people at their jobs today,” said Mato Škoro, who was born in Sydney, but lives in Canberra.
“I am very happy. Although I was born in Australia, my blood is Croatian and I am extremely proud of my origins,” said Škoro. “I have never seen so much happiness in the Croatian community as during the World Cup.” He added that Australians love all Croatian players, but that Luka Modrić is the most popular.
In Melbourne, employees of one company hoisted a Croatian flag on the top of a skyscraper, and a large football flag was also put on the fence in front of the Croatian embassy in Canberra.