Maya Brlecic: We are still dominant on the soccer field and no one can mess with us
Croatian soccer team
Croatia - Road to EURO 2016
Euro 2016 in France - Cheering and Singing for Vatreni!
The very first game for our Croatian national soccer team (a.k.a. Vatreni, like ardent flames) is just around the corner. This time around Croatia ended up in a rather difficult group and is going to play against powerful Turkey, giant Spain and always unpredictable Czech Republic. Just like every Croat who is into soccer (and trust me when I say that almost all of us are, no matter what age he or she is), the head coach of our national team, Ante Cacic, has huge expectations from our team and trusts that Croatia will place high in this prestigious competition. Besides, the host country of the Euro is France, the same territory where Croatia placed third in the World Cup in 1998 (which was a huge accomplishment for the then reborn country), so who knows what is going to happen. Perhaps French soil has that magic something that will cause our Vatreni to explode, fight till the end and show the world that we are still dominant on the soccer field and no one can mess with us.
Besides enjoying some good soccer and chilling in front of the TV with family and friends (of course, with Karlovacko or Ozujsko beer handy), Euro also offers other channels of entertainment and pleasure such as enjoying so called ‘cheerleading’ songs. There are many national Croatian chants out there written for Croatian sport teams and individual athletes, but undoubtedly, the majority of them had been written for our national soccer team. Those songs are written primarily for entertainment purposes, but more importantly, to show our togetherness and our pride as a nation. Many of those songs are rather emotional and have that patriotic twist that often moves big masses of people and awakens that so called national pride. Every single nation on this planet is and should be proud of their country, people, territory and flag. Patriotism is love of one’s country, thus after all, Euro and similar competitions promote that unconditional love where people get to reconnect with their own selves and all through sport and song.
When I was a little girl growing up in Zagreb (the Croatian capital), I will never forget how during every Euro or World Soccer Cup, whenever Croatia would play against someone, everything in the city would literally stop. Often times even the public transportation would freeze. Everyone was glued to the TV or radio, frantically praying that our team wins. Whenever we did win, people would go crazy (in a good way), and many would wipe those tears of joy from their faces. And this soccer frenzy applies not just to Croatia, but to almost every nation who is into soccer. Many ordinary people (like myself) live for those moments when big competitions take place because people can vent, unwind and even reconnect with their fellow citizens, and at the same time experience that feeling of belonging, which especially those of us who live far away from our homeland often long for.
As for the soccer chants for this time around, just recently I came across one that really gave me goosebumps and brought a huge smile on my face, called Hrabro Hrvatska. To my surprise, there were a few familiar faces singing in this video that I strongly recommend to check out! Although former professional athletes who contributed big time to Croatian sport while still in their respective disciplines, Dubravko Simenc and Zeljko Mavrovic did a marvelous job singing and delivering their charming music artistry. Dubravko Simenc was a famous water polo player with impressive career, while Zeljko Mavrovic was a professional boxer who many times left us speechless with his undefeated passion and unseen discipline in the box ring. Those two, joined with Rafael Dropulic (a Croatian reality show winner and pop singer) and other enthusiastic lovers of soccer joined forces and recorded this shivering tune, all in order to provide support to our soccer players whose first match is this Sunday, June the 12th in Paris against Turkey. This song was produced and recorded with Laudato TV, Croatia’s first Catholic media outlet that promotes family, goodness and prosperity, especially within Croatian youth.
Even though at the end of the day it is just a soccer, I invite everyone to check out this song (see just below) and cheer for Croatia (unless you already have your favorite) because when we play, we play with our heart, and when we sing, we sing our heart out. We are happy people and perhaps even too passionate about soccer. If you are a soccer fan, don’t miss the Euro and look for the red and white checkers because that’s us!
Maya Brlecic, June 2016
Izvođači: Marin Periš, Stanko Stojić (Božanstvena komedija) Dubravko Šimenc i Željko Mavrović (Dudo i prijatelji) Rafael Dropulić Rafo (Blagoslovljen tek) Nakladnici: Croatia Records i Laudato TV Tekst: Marin Periš, Stanko Stojić Glazba: Saša Maček i Petar Horvat Instrumental: Saša Maček (bubnjevi i gitare) Petar Horvat (truba) Ruben Horvat (trombon) Jošua Kovačić (saksofon) Stjepan Horvat (bas gitare) Aranžman: Saša Maček, Petar Horvat, Marin Periš, Stanko Stojić Snimatelj i montažer: Andrej Bunić Produkcija:Laudato TV Lipanj 2016.
Maya is an internationally accomplished pianist, singer, music teacher, and an aspiring writer from Zagreb, Croatia. Music and writing have shaped her life, and she feels it is how she best communicates with the rest of the world. She has been writing for fun for as long as she can remember. During middle school and high school, her poems and short creative nonfiction pieces were featured in numerous children's programs with the Croatian National Radio, and published in various Croatian Children’s magazines. Fast forward a lot of years...
Maya is also multilingual, writing in Italian, German and English. She holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Northern Kentucky University, where she is also currently pursuing a masters degree in English. In her spare time she continues to write for fun, as well as professional music reviews and critics for young musicians in both Croatia and the U.S.
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