Guest athlete: Marko Bijač

"Modrić should be an example to all Croatian athletes on how to represent your country"


"Modrić should be an example to all Croatian athletes on how to represent your country"
Photo by: Drago Sopta

In terms of Croatian team sports, 2022 will be remembered first and foremost by football bronze at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and waterpolo gold at the European Championships in Split. More than enough to host the famous Croatia's goalkeeper Marko Bijač.

More than enough to host the famous Croatia's goalkeeper Marko Bijač in these pages.

"Both achievements are historic results in these sports, and something that we can all be proud of, as Croatian athletes - considering we're coming from a small country, and the amounts invested in sports in other countries. Especially football", Bijač says.

As Croatia internationals, you often congratulate each other through media and social media, which is a true example of quality relations among Croatian athletes.

"As I've mentioned, Croatia is a small country and the only proper way is to stick together, regardless of sport or city of origin. I believe that this unity is one of the main reasons for Croatian sport punching above its weight".

What were your experiences while watching the Vatreni in Qatar?

"I have enjoyed every moment, and my teammates did the same. Our footballers made us proud once again, those were beautiful moments in Qatar and we were living as one".

Which moments impressed you the most?

"There were many goals and saves, it is difficult to single out just one, but if I have to, it would be Bruno Petković's goal against Brazil and the following penalty shootout. That was really unforgettable, our players have shown great mental strength and managed to defeat the top contender for the goal medal".

You have probably felt for your goalie colleague Dominik Livaković, who was brilliant in Qatar?

"In Qatar, Dominik has confirmed that he is among the best goalkeepers in the world. He was the best when it mattered the most. In my opinion, he was one of the key advantages for Croatia and made a crucial contribution to this historic achievement".

How about your football skills? What is your playing experience? Are waterpolo players good at football?

"I have to admit that by 15 or 16 years of age I have often played football, and I wasn't even bad when playing in the streets. However, after entering the world of senior waterpolo, I was unfortunately forced to stop playing, in order to avoid injuries. This is the main reason why my waterpolo teammates avoid playing football - in aquatics, athletes are even more prone to non-aquatics injury".

Who does Marko Bijač support? Are there clubs in Croatia or abroad that you especially like?

"I'm not a big fan of any club, but the people from Dubrovnik mostly feel the connection with Hajduk, so I would have to say that I favour Hajduk".

Are there any footballers that you hold dear, and why?

"I would emphasize Croatia captain Luka Modrić. Naturally, I am thrilled when I see what he can do on the pitch, on both club and international level. He is definitely one of the best midfielders in history, but what thrills me even more is how he has remained humble, without a single stain in his career. I believe he can be the proud example to all Croatian athletes, on how to represent your country".

Foto: Drago Sopta


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