Diary of a Croatian fan at Euro 2008, part 7

by Mystical Mike

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Tuesday 17th June

The day started slowly as we hadn’t actually get to bed until 4-30am. Thankfully we don’t need to get to the media centre until 1-30pm for the press conference so we can have a bit of a lie in. The first surprise of the day comes just as I return from the shower, I knock on the door of potting shed number one and instead of hearing drunkenness/arguing/snoring I walk in to find Atto and GZ sharing tips on moisturising. Oh how the world has changed!

When we arrive at the media centre we’re astounded by the number of new journalists who’ve turned up. The game against Turkey is still 3 days away but already their own press pack are out in force. It seems they operate by different rules, there’s more pushing and shoving and much less courtesy shown to other journalists (and blaggards).

We leave Zitko to fly solo on this as there’s hardly room to swing a cat, so whilst we’re updating**cough**facebooking, he’s got responsibility for the video camera and asking questions. Is he up to the task? About 20 mins after he left us, Zitko reappears with a massive grin on his face, thrusts the video camera into our faces and demands we drop everything and watch the footage he has shot. We proceed to watch a rerun of Slaven Bilic looking directly at the camera three times and smiling! Yes, peeps, smiling!! And not at anyone, but at the most chuffed individual in the press room, Zitko!!!

As it turns out, Slaven’s turn of English made Zitko laugh out loud, which then brought on this joint joke appreciation society. I fear we may never get George off cloud 9. It takes a full 5 reruns for us to finally be able to wrestle the camera out of his hands.

We then make our way over to Oberwart for the public training session. We’re so blaze about these now that when it starts raining, instead of continuing to film like we had done previously we make a dash for the car. Once you’ve seen one international team training session, you’ve seen them all, unless you’re filming for the next episode of Prosi (Prosinecki) Watch that is…


By the time we’ve sorted Atteby out with his daily portion of Schnitzel it’s time for the big match of the day, a winner takes all tie between Italy and France. For this game both myself and Zitko revert to being English and join Atterby in wishing for a French defeat. Thankfully, and with some help from the ref, we get our wish and to the delight of everyone the French are booted out bottom of their group ala World Cup 2002. As Atterby says, the sight of Henry and the rest of our “friends” across the water trudging off totally despondent almost makes up for the fact that England failed to qualify.

As a final thought, Andy Warhol once said that everyone gets their 15mins of fame. How right he was. For a brief period of time we were famous, with everybody wanting to speak to us. Now however we’re back to being a regular part of the media scrum. Whilst life as a Z-list celebrity was great while it lasted, we all agree we won’t try and prolong it when we get back to Blighty by being photographed falling out of China Whites at 3am on a Wednesday morning, or appearing on the next series of Celebrity Big Brother. We’re professionals don’t you know.

Andrija Tadic reports for UK Football Finder from the leading Croatian football website become a croatia fan.

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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    is this the end of the tales from the potting shed?

    Hard luck Andjia, but it’s true what they say, the Croats always full short when they play the lesser sides.

    You have to give the Turks credit, I actually predicted this game would finish 1-1 in Diary 4 or 5 I think.

    You must be gutted, don’t worry dudebuster, we’ve been there so many times. It’s painful, a football match is like life, so many up and downs, especially being an England fan.

    At the end of the day, you got and we didn’t. In fact, I can’t see us getting out of our World Cup either.

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