Stanić and Rađa: No One Perceives the National Football Team as Their Own Anymore

Total Croatia News

Updated on:

It was the most popular article on leading portal yesterday. The English translation…

Ante Čačić is the new coach of the Croatian national football team. He was appointed yesterday by the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Association (HNS), but that was just a formality. The decision was known several days earlier, as Čačić himself admitted. “On Saturday, I was told that I had remained the only candidate for the job”, said the former coach of Lokomotiva immediately after the match against Split, reports on September 21, 2015.
This absurd choice by HNS continues a long tradition of alienation of the Croatian national football team. The decision to appoint for the national team coach a man without charisma, authority and most importantly results and a man who has been rejected by football fans perfectly describes the situation in the Croatian football and presents the crown of a tragicomic circus called “Romeo Jozak Searches for the Head Coach”.

Zdravko Mamić, Davor Šuker, Romeo Jozak and many others have for years been systematically devastating former national treasure, which has for very long been a private property, and not the “national treasure”.

One of the greatest European basketball players of all time Dino Rađa and former member of the Croatian national football team Mario Stanić gave their comments about the sad reality of the Croatian football.
DINO RAĐA: ”I am not interested in them. I do not care when they win, I do not care when they lose. I refuse to be upset about them and give them legitimacy in that way”

“I do not want to comment on anything related to the national football team or give any analysis of why people are increasingly giving up and why they have stopped cheering for the team. First of all, it did not happen overnight. There is a systematic campaign of division. For years, the people running HNS have been working on it so hard that I have to praise them because they have succeeded. I will not go into the reasons why other people, and I know a lot of them, used to be ready to “kill” for the national team, and why now they are completely uninterested in what is going on. I can speak only for myself.

I am so not interested in them that I would prefer not to give any comments, since any sentence about them only means that I give them importance and that I agree that they are some element which is making me nervous, which would give them legitimacy, and that is not true. Unfortunately, they do not deserve even the minimum of time devoted to them.

Why is that, we all know, but I am sorry, because I think of how much time and nerves I have invested in this team. It makes me want to cry. I used to be the fiercest supporter of the team. I went on my bike to Berlin in 2006, and in Vienna two years later I have suffered a defeat more difficult than any of my career. Today, I am not even thinking about watching the national team, even reading anything related to it. These people simply do not interest me anymore.

I am totally indifferent to them. I’m not interested when they win, I am not interested when they lose. I do not care about anything connected to them. I do not read anything about them in newspapers, do not watch them on TV. If someone is willing to sell their reputation and morals, I am not. I am not for sale.”
MARIO STANIĆ: “What HNS is doing reminds me of Alan Ford”

“And why are we surprised? The divisions in society have left their mark, and those most responsible are pretending they are stupid. They do not accept even minimal responsibility. Everything that we are seeing now is just the result of decades of devastation, not only of sports, but the society as a whole. We have morally touched the bottom and now we wonder why nobody cares about football, basketball… And why should people care when they get sick because of poverty, Swiss franc loans, their bare livelihood? Let’s be serious, the people are sick of everything and does anyone seriously think that what little nerves we have will be spent on this circus directed by HNS and politics which has long contaminated our whole sport. They have succeeded in the impossible – they alienated football.
All these innumerable divisions in society, into red camp and black camp, left and right, this or that, have been going on for years. They have led to the fact that people no longer care about anything, and especially football. Now HNS is electing the coach? Oh, why are you doing that? Do you honestly think that change will actually lead to something? It won’t, because the names are not important, even though they tell us they are.

The collective depression has engulfed every pore of this society. Look, we live in a hypocritical world. We experience it at every step and football is just an image of what our society is. If you start from the beginning and look at what is happening in politics, health care, education, what kind of media we have, then it is no wonder why our society is rapidly slipping into a kind of Stone Age. And we’re all to blame for that. Starting with me and you. With our overwhelming silence and not reacting, we all together become accomplices to the situation in which we find ourselves.
The atmosphere of hopelessness, the sensationalism that the media is pushing has taken hold and we are all to blame for it. At news sites, the most important news is when a starlet or bad singer shows her tits and ass. Such nonsense is the most interesting, it is widely read, attracts the most attention. And then we wonder how did we find ourselves in situation like this. If that is what the nation wants most, then it will get it. Every action has a reaction, and as you sow, so you reap. So everything went to hell. We are witnessing totally inverted values. What should be important is on the sidelines of the media, and the idiocy prevails. We have become a nation of idiots.
It is so in all the areas, and sports may be the last one to pay the price. It is unclear to me why would someone think that sports will be protected from filth. Results of the athletes are here, in individual sports much more than in team sports, but the question is only when will those rare examples of positive results disappear. If we wait for someone to come over and help us, we all live together in one big fallacy.

I have been involved in sports for years, I have made some money and I do not depend on anyone and that’s why I say what I mean. I am sorry that more current and former athletes do not want, because of fear or resentment, to say how the things stands. It is normal that someone does not want to criticize, but we are not living in normal state. Since we are in trouble, it would be normal to do our best to get out of it. We are not important, what is important are our children and the way we are preparing them for life. For what kind of life are we preparing them? Now that’s a question that we will all ask ourselves, sooner or later.
As for sports, if this question is not asked by those of us who come from sports, then who will ask it? Surely, we will not be saved by a Hans from Germany or a cowboy John from America. The one who believes that is very wrong. Let’s face it, who cares about us. What do we mean to anyone?

Everything that we see every day reminds me of episodes of Alan Ford comics. Episode one and episode two, and so on. There is so much negative stuff that people do not pay any attention to it. The saddest thing in all of this is the fact that people themselves believe that it must be like that, and that nothing can ever change.

As for this whole circus around the national team coach, of course that politics as always has played a major role. Will it be Vulić, Čačić or somebody else, that is not important. The names are not important, the model is important, and we do not have it. In Croatia, nothing important happens unless there is a political or interest group behind it.

Of course, HDZ decides who will be the coach, just as it decided that the national team will play in Split. Imagine how much misery there must be in us when someone from politics has to come and say: “Now it is time for the national team to play in Split.”

It was the politics which decided. Split had been avoided for ten years as if it had the plague, and now all of a sudden, overnight, at all costs, the match must be played there. The coach is attacked, but never mind, we will play in Split, as this has been already decided. It is a story for someone who cannot put two and two together. In our country, unfortunately, politics and sports are two sides of the same coin, one cannot go without the other. However, the time has come when it is no longer possible, and the people recognize that and they are fed up with such policies and the division between the left and right.
Personally, I am neither left nor right, I’m nobody’s. I’m just for myself and trying all my life to stay that way and live in a kind of my own free mind.
Politics has marred everything, and now that includes sports as well. These politicians have lost credibility, people do not trust them and it happens, even when someone with honest and honourable intentions appears, that they are not trusted because they are perceived as someone from the world of politics and no one cares what they have to say. However, we are alone to blame. We elect these people, me and you and all of us. We bear the responsibility. We’re not going to vote, we boycott, we talk that everyone is the same, and democracy is reduced so that the only important thing is who will employ someone due to some connection or hand him over something. Why are we then surprised when we ourselves are to blame for this?
I am not saying that in this country there are no intelligent and honourable people, there are, of course there are, but the problem is that this group of people gathers in their own interest groups, socializes among themselves and avoids being active and loud. They are inert. On the other hand, the others, which I am sure are a minority, are loud, they are soldiers, and then we get what we have now. We all just talk, here, take me for example, but if I were to be put in a position where I should have to seriously decide and change something, I do not know what would I do. It would be a problem, because too much has been poisoned to know where to start and what to do.

We are living through a catharsis, but I do not know where are we now. Are we at the beginning or in the middle, but at the end we are most certainly not. How many years we have been digging the pit, so long it will take for us to get out. I wish I am wrong, but I’m afraid that I am not. It will not happen overnight. Actually, maybe you could do it with some kind of facelift, “let’s do some kind of shock therapy to bluff people”… The real truth lies in patience which does not exist here, in sports and in all sectors of society. We are just looking how we are going to quickly make some money, how we will fill our pockets overnight, and the proper plan, the long-term plan, does not exist and no one even cares.
As for this whole circus with the national team, the players are the least to blame. They are soldiers. Sometimes it will be better, sometimes worse. Many good players have left Croatia, escaped from this quagmire and tried to earn bread abroad. And, of course, when they come back here, they know where they are coming to. Players are reprimanded that they are coming to hang out with friends and see their families. So what’s wrong with that? I was also coming to the national team with the same goal, but when I played for the national team, we were returning here with a smile, we were lucky to play for the national team. Today, players are not smiling, and how could they, since no one around them is smiling.

We discuss how Luka Modrić is playing for Real Madrid, while in the national team it looks like he doesn’t want to play. And that same Luka Modrić, instead of preparing and training so he could be focused only on football, gave a statement to USKOK for two full days because of someone else’s foolishness. And now we expect Modrić to fly on the field and give his best. I believe that is what he wants, but in such circumstances he simply cannot. Players are not fools, they know well what is going on. Who chooses the coach. And we’re talking about an authority figure. We know very well how Bilić came and went. We know very well how Štimac came and went. The same story with Kovač. If you and I know that and if we all find it funny, then why are we surprised that the players think the same.

I’m not saying that there is no blame among them, but there is too much accumulated garbage that I do not want to watch it anymore, and I’m not surprised that most people in the country think the same. The players have accepted their share of responsibility, the former coach also, but only the Football Federation is not responsible for anything. That is what hurts the most, and I think because of this arrogant and irresponsible behaviour the people no longer perceive this team as their own.

People can finally see what is going on; the question now is when and whether the others will see it.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment