Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Even the most popular search engine in the world is celebrating Croatia’s World Cup success. Google have added a Croatian fan inspired design on the homepage of their website today in honour of the silver medal the team won at the finals in Moscow.

Featuring the iconic red and white squared shirts and fan scenes the image is a great advert and publicity for Croatia, and proof that football has the biggest reach of any team sport. Clicking on the image brings readers through to info about the final and the Croatian team.

Croatia’s captain and inspiration Luka Modric has been awarded with the Golden Ball for being the player of the 2018 World Cup. Modric, who truly was the dominate force in Croatia’s midfield, becomes the first Croatian to win the Golden Ball. In 1998 Davor Suker won the Silver Ball as well as the Golden Boot for his six goals.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic commented that "He played a terrific tournament which is another commendation for the team which helped to bring about Luka's success. He made the lion’s share of our play and he was a deserved winner of the Golden Ball."

The Silver Ball went to Eden Hazard of Belgium, with the Bronze Ball going to Antoine Griezmann of France.

In other awards the England captain, Harry Kane, won the Golden Boot after finishing the top scorer of the World Cup with six goals. Whilst Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois picked up the Golden Glove for being the leading goalkeeper. The best Young Player Award went to the impressive Kylian Mbappe (19) from France.

 

With their passionate performances and never say die attitude Croatia have certainly made millions of friends on and off the pitch this World Cup campaign. Every neutral was cheering on for Croatia on Sunday as they took on France in the final.

And before the big game the Croatian President, Kolinda Grabra Kitarovic, took the opportunity to meet with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and exchange opinions. Dressed in the iconic red and white checked Croatia football shirt, a shirt that she has been wearing for the majority of the World Cup, she presented the Russian President with similar shirt whilst Putin gave her a large bouquet of flowers.

The two Presidents went on the watch the final together.

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Songs, fireworks, car horns and flags blocked one of the main roads in Dubrovnik as fans celebrated Croatia’s impressive World Cup campaign that will see them coming home with the silver, the best result ever for the Croatian national football team.

On the main gate into the historic Old City of Dubrovnik a mass celebration was held that blocked the road for cars, buses and taxis…but who cares Croatia are silver medallists. Police made sure that the parade was lead safely but the sheer amount of people meant that the road had to be closed.

Dubrovnik has never seen scenes like this before, the city will not sleep tonight as supporters welcome a magnificent World Cup, a championship in which Croatia has stolen the hearts of millions of football fans with their never say die attitude and extreme hard work. As one UK publication wrote on their headline – France won the World Cup but Croatia won the hearts of millions.

Thank you “Vatreni” for making the summer of 2018 a summer never to forget.

The sun may have set on the Croatian World Cup campaign after losing 4 – 2 to France in Moscow but the team has certainly done the nation proud.

Zlatko Dalic and his side will return home to a hero’s welcome, and it is well deserved. They made history. The first time that they have made it to the final of a World Cup and the smallest nation to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950.

Croatian fans, whilst a little disappointed, are extremely proud of their team’s achievements. Celebrations will continue long into the night; this video was the scene on the tiny Dubrovnik island of Kolocep just after the final whistle.

And so the dream is over. Croatia can be proud of their team, proud of their 2018 World Cup performance and proud that they achieved a historic result for the country. The final in Moscow ended 4 – 2 to the French and “Les Bleus” secured their second World Cup after winning on home soil in 1998.

Croatia have certainly had a World Cup campaign to be proud of. Three victories from three in their group games and after finishing top moved into the later stages as group winners. Victories over Denmark, the hosts Russia and England saw them reach the final for the first time in their history. But it wasn’t to be.

The country will celebrate, will welcome home their heroes in style and will look back at this summer in Russia with pride.

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Thank you for all your messages and photos in support of Croatia...keep them coming 

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The 2018 World Cup Final in Russia has kicked off and Croatia face France in this historic match. The centre of the Old City of Dubrovnik is absolutely packed with fans watching the final of a huge LED screen.

Thousands of fans decked out in red and white filled the square in front of the St. Blaise Church as Dubrovnik cheers on the Croatian heroes.

Check out the photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic and Tonci Plazibat

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