The Russia 2018 World Cup was nothing short of a delightful display for everyone around the world. It has managed to re-ignite the belief that international football is very much loved and that the World Cup is the ultimate football tournament.
Russia 2018 had its fair share of excitements and spills. It was indeed a tournament for the “little guys” and was filled with lots of surprise packages. Arguably, no other team got as much attention from the world as Croatia, not even the champions, France.
By the time Croatia got to the finals, the Croatians’ gallant display had won the hearts of millions around the world. Wondering how Croatia won? They were resilient! Besides the mental strength the team displayed, this country with a small population of only 4million demonstrated that size is not a determinant for success. They have sent a message to other smaller nations that they too can punch above their weight.
Prior to Russia 2018, the Croatian team was plagued by corruption scandals: their captain, Luka Modric, was charged with perjury, and the management of Croatian football federation was a suspect. However, they did not also allow their record in the history of the World Cup tournament get in their way – they played so passionately as a team and kept their eyes on the ball.
This same team beat the Super Eagles of Nigeria with two goals to nothing and although, they did their best to score twice during the finals, France won with double the score. After the final whistle, Croatia erupted in celebrations and their president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic declared that she could not wait for the finals regardless of the result, they were already winners and she was not alone in this sentiment – we all loved Croatia’s spirit and made their win ours.
Croatia indeed was a breath of fresh air. Yes, they did not go home with the World Cup but went home with pride. At its welcome home parade in the city’s capital, Zagreb, more than 250,000 people gathered on the streets to greet the Croatian team, the city’s airspace, eclipsed with their flags.
From rising against all odds to aiming for the price, there is a lot to learn from Croatia’s story, however, our take home is – Believe in yourself, take action and START NOW!