Croatia were treated to a heroe’s welcome upon their return to Zagreb, the day after losing out to France in the World Cup final.
The celebrations started at Zagreb International Airport, with fans lining the road to applaud the squad as they crawled their way toward the city.
Mario Mandzukic signed a policeman’s helmet, as you do…
The real party then started in Bana Jelacica Square, with around 550,000 fans (a fair percentage of the country’s overall population) cramming into the street to congratulate their compatriots.
The Croatian team then took to the stage to sing the national anthem, chant along with their adoring public and give coach Zlatko Dalic a few customary ‘bumps’.
— simon zwartkruis (@simonzwartkruis) 16 July 2018
So distorted has become the nature of ‘greatness’ that we regularly see footballers chucking runner-up medals away/into the crowd, etc, as if they were mere shameful mementos of abject failure.
It’s therefore lovely to see Croatia recognise that finishing second is actually quite good and duly celebrating as such.