Windsor

'People know of Croatia now': Croatians tearful and proud after France wins World Cup

Though Croatia was unable to bring home the FIFA World Cup, Windsor ON's local Croatian community was bursting with pride that their team made it to the finals.

'Every Croatian around the world can be proud'

Kara Prepolec holds up the Croatian flag with pride during the FIFA World Cup final game. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Though Croatia was unable to bring home the FIFA World Cup, Windsor ON's local Croatian community was bursting with pride that their team made it to the finals.

The Croatian National Sports Club in Windsor was full of people sporting their Croatian jerseys and waving their Croatian flags. 

France claimed its second World Cup title on Sunday, defeating Croatia 4-2.

"I couldn't be more proud for my country. They did an excellent job. They never gave up in the end, and that's all that we could ask for," said Monica Ghatas. 

Members of the Croatian community say that they're proud of their team and that it's been a heartfelt experience being able to watch these games alongside other members of their community. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Emotions were high. Some, like Julie Peretin were brought to tears once the game was over.

"These boys were absolutely amazing. They played with all their hearts throughout this whole FIFA cup. They have made themselves and they have made Croatia proud. Win or lose, these boys are number one," Peretin said. 

"They put Croatia on the map. And every Croatian around the world can be proud of being Croatian and being proud of this awesome national Croatian league."

'They put Croatia on the map," says Julie Peretin of the Croatian football team. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

For the local Croatian community, some described the experience of being able to come together in support of their team as "unreal."

"Look at everyone supporting us," said Jen Bakic, looking around the sports club. 

"I love it. I love it."

Windsor resident Sandy Zgomba says she's ecstatic that her country made it this far. 

"The future is bright for us. We're on the map. People know of Croatia now," she said.

Members of the local Croatian community proudly decorated their vehicles with the Croatian flag in support of their team. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

About the Author

Katerina Georgieva is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Windsor. She has also worked for CBC in Charlottetown, Toronto and Winnipeg.