Mandžukić Against National Stadium: “Croatia Must Play All Over the Country”

Daniela Rogulj

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Mario Mandžukić, the legendary Juventus attacker and former Croatia national team representative, gave his thoughts on the topic hovering over Croatia since the bronze in 1998, and especially since the World Cup in Russia.

After winning the silver medal at the World Cup in Russia this summer, Mario Mandžukić said goodbye to his role on the Croatia national football team, reports on December 29, 2018. 

This season, Mandžo is shining in the Juventus jersey, has been the star of several derbies, and is one of the best players for ‘the Old Lady’ who, as he said in an interview, he has “devoted his soul and body to.” 

His national team career may be over, but…

“I will miss my life on the national team for the rest of my life; it’s so beautiful and sublime that once you feel this emotion, it’s part of you while you breathe. But there is also the reality of life and the responsibility of the decision, I retired, and it was not easy,” Mandžukić said.

Mandžukić also recalled the constant elephant in the room for Croatian football, which first came into focus after Croatia won the bronze in France – constructing a national stadium. 

When asked if he thought that winning the silver at the World Cup would require Croatia to deliver a national stadium, he replied:

“I am not convinced. And in this summer’s synergy of the people and the national team, you could see just how much people love football and worship the Croatia national team in every corner of the country. Therefore, in my view, the national team must play all over Croatia,” said Mandžo, sending a clear message to football (and political) leaders in Croatia. 

“To me, it would be more logical to rebuild and renovate the stadiums in Croatia and have the team play there so we could spread the positive energy and fellowship. I’m am more for investing in club training camps because they are responsible for creating the future Croatia national team,” Mandžukić concluded. 

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