Croatian supporters’ group Uvijek Vjerni have made a dream come true for Croatia’s biggest fan in Brazil.
David Fonseca Pimentel (33) fell in love with the Croatian football team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. After Croatia famously beat Germany in the quarter-final 3-0, David said from that day on he ‘was a Croatian’.
Since then, he has watched all of Croatia’s matches in the last 19 years. His highlight included meeting Davor Šuker at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 where he attended Croatia’s matches.
Some might remember the viral video on FIFA TV when the emotional Brazilian shed a tear meeting Šuker.
David has never however seen Croatia play a home game, until tonight that is. Croatian supporters’ group Uvijek Vjerni have organised for David to be at tonight’s FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium.
“The main idea to bring me to Zagreb was from Dragan Lukić, Mirjana Akrapović and David Pavelić. I arrived on Wednesday, they have organised everything, including tickets to the game, and I leave on Tuesday back for Brazil,” Daivd told us.
David, who has been put up at Hotel Dubrovnik right on the main square, has been impressed with the Croatian capital in the short time that he has been here.
“I like everything here in Croatia so far. The weather, the people. the places I have seen. I can’t wait for the game and the atmosphere that will be there.”
Despite having no ties to the country, David’s love for Croatia is strong. It is hard to find a photo of him not wearing something Croatian, and he even gave his daughter a Croatian name.
His 8-year-old daughter – Jelić Melyssa Pimentel – was named after well known Croatian volleyball player Barbara Jelić.
David says he is looking to see his favourite players Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandžukić in action tonight and is predicting a 2-0 win for Croatia with Mandžukić and Kalinić the goalscorers.