Slaven Bilić Dedicates Point to Turkey in an Emotional Tribute

Daniela Rogulj

Football players at West Ham United yesterday managed a difficult away point at Anfield, drawing to Liverpool 2:2. Slaven Bilić, current manager of West Ham United and former Croatian coach and manager of football club Besiktas, whose stadium over the weekend experienced deadly bombings, dedicated the away point to the people of Turkey.

Although West Ham were a goal down as early as the fifth minute in the away match on Liverpool’s turf, goals from Payet and Antonio on Bilić’s side turned the result. A mistake by West Ham goalkeeper Randolph cost them the victory, but Bilić, the former Croatian coach, did not want to lay the blame on his goalkeeper, reports Vecernji List on 12 December, 2016.


“That is the nature of the job, and there is nothing to blame on Randolph because in addition to these errors he had a series of excellent defense. I am pleased with the reaction of my players. After losing 1:5 against Arsenal in front of our fans, we came to Anfield and already after 5 minutes we were a goal down. It is normal in these circumstances that a team loses confidence, but my players have found their inner reserves, and showed great togetherness and work ethic. I hope that the Anfield point is a milestone and that now this means we are getting better. We have two games that are not in front of our fans that we have to win.”


Then the former Croatian coach, overcome with emotion, also recalled the bombings that took place on Saturday in Turkey near the Besiktas stadium, the club he once managed.


“Thank you for asking about this because I didn’t know how to divert to this subject from the game. I would like to dedicate this point to the people of Turkey. Me and my staff were there for two years. They followed us big time and my prayers are with them. It is unbelievable what happened there. I was all around the world working and on holiday and they are maybe the best people I ever met. It is very sad what is happening in one of the best cities and one of the best countries. The people are so warm and friendly and it is tearing me apart. Big condolences to the families of the victims,” said an emotional Bilić, with his statement conveyed not only English and Turkish, but also in many other languages throughout international media.



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