Celebrity Status in Turkey: Croatian Footballer Welcomed by Hundreds of Screaming Fans

Daniela Rogulj

Croatian representative Domagoj Vida has officially become a big player in Turkey this week…if he isn’t already.

While it’s safe the assume that the red carpet is rolled out for most famous footballers today, football fans in Turkey may have just taken this gesture to the next level – and even more exciting for one of our own. 

Former Dynamo Kyiv footballer and Croatian national team representative Domagoj Vida was spectacularly greeted in Istanbul on Tuesday where thousands of thunderous Beşiktaş fans welcomed him to their team, reports Goal.hr on January 3, 2018.

The Croatian footballer will officially become a big player for the Turkish giant this week. If you recall, this comes just a couple months after the initial transfer collapsed, as Dinamo Kiev claimed EUR 5 million for the Croat – a figure Besiktas was not ready to pay. Vida also had offers from Milan and Everton on the table. 

The contract with the Ukrainians, however, expired on December 31, 2017, allowing Vida to arrive in Turkey as a free player. Soon after Vida found out that his next destination would be Besiktas, Turkish media wrote that the club was looking profit after the sale of the Croat – meaning they could sell him to another club in case a bid came in at, say, EUR 10 million. However, the media bouts are contradictory to the statements of the club president who recently said that he saw the right boost for the Istanbul club currently in fourth place in the Turkish Super League, just six points behind the leading Başakşehir.

Vida was also a favorite at Dynamo in Kyiv, where football fans held Croatian flags and messages of thanks at his departure – the Croat was at the club for four years, securing over 100 games. Fortunately, the fandom looks as though it will continue here in Turkey, and based on the videos, it’s not hard to see why. 


After fans prepared a spectacular welcome for Vida at the airport on Tuesday night, on Wednesday morning, the Croat passed a medical examination and signed a contract that is good through 2022, Goal also reported on January 3, 2018. 

At the press conference held today, Vida exclaimed:

“I saw a great chance for my progress at Besiktas. We have goals in the Champions League, and we know how great Bayern is.”

“I know the Besiktas fans very well when I played here with Dynamo Kyiv. I could not even hear my teammates on the field with all the noise!”

Vida also emphasized that fans and the media should not fall into any ‘Vida’ social network traps because the Croat doesn’t have any.

“I do not have any profiles, they are all fake! My friends showed me the ’Come to Besiktas’ video.”

And then Vida teased the fan’s imagination:

“Maybe I will send the ‘Come to Besiktas’ invitation to Mandzukic!”


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