160 Croatian Emigrants in Florida Welcomed Croatian Football Team: "Play With Your Hearts"

By 22 March 2018

As part of their tour in the United States, the Croatian national football team was presented to the Croatian-American Society 'Kralj Tomislav' in Florida. 

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Croatian national football team met with the Society of Croatian Emigrants last night. Around 160 Croatians from Florida, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and even Canada welcomed the national team ahead of their preliminary match against Peru in Miami, announced HNS on March 22, 2018. 

Croatian football representatives and members of the professional staff gifted the society with a plaque and jersey including the signatures of all the players, while the hosts also offered gifts to the national team. 

Danko Grgas, the president of the Society, gave the team a message ahead of the World Cup in Russia this summer:

“Our dear ‘Vatreni’, welcome. This evening, for our emigrants and our children, is unforgettable. We carefully monitor every one of your goals and mishaps on our television screens. When you are happy, we celebrate with you. Our wish is for you to be even better and stronger so that you can raise the winning trophy at the World Cup this summer. We enjoyed watching you last year against Mexico in Los Angeles, and in our wildest dreams, we never imagined we could prepare something so special for you this year. I hope we did not disappoint you and thank you for giving us this pleasure. It is an incredible feeling to be in the company of our athletes, and especially our footballers. Play with your heart against Peru, as always, and we wish you much success.”

The Croatian coach Zlatko Dalić returned his gratitude to the hospitable hosts who prepared a wonderful evening for them in Florida:

"Thank you for welcoming us. We are delighted to receive the invitation to be your guests. It is a great honor and pleasure, and we know how much the Croatian team and Croatia means to you. We look forward to seeing your children in Croatian jerseys, and we invite you all to the game. Give us the support we need - we are preparing for the World Cup - and there is a lot of hope and fear among the Croatian people before such a competition. I know you will be with us, either in Russia or in front of the television. We will do everything in our power to make all of us Croatians proud.” 

Translated from HNS