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World Cup: Croatian players seen as heroes, receive high praise

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Domagoj Vida of Croatia celebrates following the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinal match on July 11, 2018 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI

By HINA, UPI

The president of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU), academician Zvonko Kusic, sent a letter of congratulations to the Croatian national football team on Sunday for winning the silver medal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, which was perceived as a historic success.

"You have made a historic triumph that exceeds in a multiple way the field of sport and is becoming an integral part of the Croatian national identity as a source of pride and optimism, and is the confirmation of the Croatian winning mentality which was developed during the Homeland Defense War on the grounds of the courage of Croatian soldiers," Kusic said.

[post_ads]Kusic, as well as many others, praised the footballers for their contribution to the international promotion of Croatia.

"Our homeland has become famous and popular worldwide owing to you," the HAZU president wrote in his message.

The Croatian government has decided to award 70,000 kuna to each of the footballers on the national team, and 60,000 to coach Zlatko Dalic, while a sum of 96,000 on aggregate will be awarded to other members of the coaching staff.

On Sunday, the Council of Europe sent its congratulations to the finalists of the World Cup, heaping praise on the champion France and the vice-champion Croatia.

The pan-European association also congratulated Russia for the organization of the 34-day-long tournament.

All Croatian officials already extended congratulations to the team coached by Dalic for their stunning victories during the tournament and the historic success they achieved.

The performance of the Croatian football team was also hailed by the public and media in Croatia's neighboring countries.

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