20 March 2019 – The eastern Croatian city of Slavonski Brod has honoured former and current internationals Mario Mandžukić, Ivica Olić and Ivan Rakitić on Tuesday.
Special bronze plaques embedded in the path on the main strip in the centre of Slavonski Brod dedicated to the players for their performances in Russia at the 2018 World Cup where Croatia finished runners-up. Mandžukić and Rakitić as players and Olić as a member of the coaching staff.
Mandžukić, Olić and Rakitić were also made honorary citizens of the city.
The Juventus striker was born in Slavonski Brod and grew up in the city, starting his career at Marsonia. Olić is from Davor, in the same county near Slavonski Brod, whilst Rakitić has family connections from the Brod-Posavina County.
“I never dreamed that in my home city I would have this kind of monument – plaques. Thanks to the Mayor and everyone in the city for this nice honour. I was thrilled to see children and young people turn up. I can only tell them to follow their dreams and never give up on them. Thank you for the support and love you have shown me,” Mandžukić said on Instagram.
Mandžukić and Olić were both present during the official unveiling yesterday, whilst Rakitić was unable to attend as he is in camp with the Croatia squad ahead of tomorrow’s EURO 2020 qualifier against Azerbaijan in Zagreb.
View this post on Instagram
Nisam ni sanjao da bih jednoga dana u svom gradu mogao imati ovakvu spomen-ploču – hvala gradonačelniku i svima u Gradu na ovako lijepoj počasti 😊🙏🏻 Oduševljen sam koliko sam vidio djece i mladih – mogu im samo poručiti da slijede svoje snove i nikada od njih ne odustaju 💪🏼 Hvala vam na podršci i ljubavi koju ste mi iskazali 🇭🇷 ❤ #SlavonskiBrod #Ponos #Radost #Hrvatska #mm17🌪