Croatia’s first-ever female President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic attended her country’s nerve-wracking quarter-final against hosts Russia in the FIFA World Cup 2018 on Saturday.
Dressed in Croatian colours, Grabad-Kitarovic sat next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino in the VIP box. The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sat to Infantino’s left.
Throughout the course of the match, Grabar-Kitarovic cheered on for her team – she clapped and screamed every time Croatia scored.
When Russia scored the first goal of the match through Denis Cheryshev’s wonder strike, she congratulated Medvedev but the table soon turned as just eight minutes later, Andrej Kramaric equalised and Grabar-Kitarovic got into the mood of the match.
As the match went into extra time, the Croatian president looked on with bated breath but as soon as Domagoj Vida scored Croatia’s second goal in the 100th minute of the match, Grabar-Kitarovic jumped up in joy and even did a little victory dance.
Eventually, Croatia won the match 4-3 on penalties and entered the semi-finals.
While her wild celebrations from the VIP box was excellent fun in itself, she then went on to celebrate the victory with the players in the dressing room.
In videos that have made their way to social media, Grabar-Kitarovic can be seen jumping and celebrating with her country’s players standing in the centre of the line.
With hands on the players’ shoulders on either side, she makes a perfect team huddle as the Croatian team sing a song to celebrate their best World Cup performance since 1998.
Croatian fans back home in the country were no different. Wild celebrations ensued and went on in the night as Croatia made their first World Cup semi-final since 1998.
With Croatia’s ‘golden generation’ on the field, there is a genuine hope among people than the country can better their third place finish of 1998.
Across the country in Zagreb, Zadar, Dubronvik and Split, people sang and danced to celebrate Croatia’s victory over Russia.
From songs and pool dance to flairs, the victory celebration was absolutely manic.
Croatia will next be up against England in the semi-final on Wednesday and will hope to overcome the inspired team under Harry Kane to reach their first-ever final.
News credit : Indiatoday