Legendary Argentine footballer Diego Maradona is coming to Zagreb to cheer on his team in the final of the Davis Cup between Croatia and Argentina which starts on Friday in the Croatian capital.
A spokesperson for the Argentina Tennis Federation confirmed that Maradona (56), who is one of the greatest footballers to play the game, will be in Zagreb to support his country.
But should Croatia win the diminutive former number 10 won’t be too upset as he has Croatian blood. Maradona’s grandfather on his mother’s side emigrated from the Croatian island of Korčula to Argentina. Digeo has himself said that he named his daughter Dalma after the region ‘Dalmatia’.
This weekend will not be the first time the FIFA Player of the 20th Century has been in Croatia. He played in Zagreb for Argentina against Croatia in the 1990’s, and also in a charity match on the Croatian coast in Novi Vinodolski with his pal Davor Šuker and Goran Ivanišević and partied in Dubrovnik in 2014.
Maradona is a tennis fan, in 2006 he was in Moscow when Argentina lost the final against Russia.
“It is nice that he will come here and that he loves tennis”, Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer said after training on Wednesday.
Maradona will not be the only Argentine will Croatian connections in Zagreb, Argentina’s captain, Daniel Orsanic also has Croatian heritage.
Orsanic’s father Branko (84) left what was then Yugoslavia as a 15-year-old boy. After spending one year in Austria and three years in Italy, he finally settled in Buenos Aires where Daniel was born to an Argentinian mother. Today in Croatia the largest concentration of the surname Oršanić is in Otočac, whilst Daniel’s grandfather was from Slavonia.
Argentina will be trying to win its first Davis Cup after losing in 4 finals whilst Croatia are aiming to make it number two.