Serbian Tennis Star Đoković Calls for Rapprochement with Croats

By 4 January 2019

Croatian footballer Luka Modrić recently spoke in very nice terms about Novak Đoković, and now the Serbian tennis star has returned the favour, reports Večernji List on January 4, 2019.

“I would like to thank him! I have the highest possible opinion about Luka. I met him last year in America. I respect everybody, especially those who have sacrificed a lot and who have achieved such success as he and the Croatian national football team have, although they came from such a small country. I supported them at the World Cup with my whole heart,” said Đoković for the Serbian daily Blic.

“I know what the political situation is, and I know the wounds from the war are still fresh for many people. I can only imagine how people who have lost someone in the war feel. It is a sensitive subject, and I would not go much into it, I would just express my compassion and understanding. Really, prayers for everyone because war has not brought anything good to anyone,” said Đoković.

“I firmly believe that sports should always be kept out of politics. I believe in this, as do many other athletes. The vast majority, if not all the athletes from the region I have met and with whom I had the opportunity to talk, are on a similar mental frequency with regards to sensitive topics. We leave others to deal with them,” said Đoković.

“We are athletes and, by demonstrating mutual respect, we show that sport is above everything else. It is certainly difficult for many people to forget some of the things which took place. And I am sure they cannot forget it. Especially this cannot be done by people who have felt the direct impact of the war, but one simply has to go on living. They are our first neighbours – Croatia and Serbia and Bosnia and Macedonia – and I somehow consider them to be my own. I have never had a different opinion, and I will never change it,” concluded Đoković.

More news on the relations between Croatia and Serbia can be found in our Politics section.

Translated from Večernji List.