On a sunny day at Maksimir Stadium, about 20,000 fans gathered to witness the final match of the Croatian national football team against Armenia in the qualifiers for Euro 2024. Amidst the excitement and anticipation, one fan stood out from the rest – Rafael Beserra, a Brazilian who had traveled from his home country to support his beloved “fire” team.
Beserra had long been an avid fan of Croatian football and had dreamed of meeting his idol Luka Modrić. That dream became a reality when he was introduced to the public at the end of the League of Nations in Rotterdam. And it wasn’t long before he received an invitation from the Croatian Tourist Board to visit Croatia as a guest of honor.
Now living in Zagreb, where he studies Croatian and follows his passion for football, Beserra couldn’t have been happier to be attending his first match in Croatia. As he spoke with us at Maksimir, he shared his excitement for being able to watch the national team play live on their home soil.
“I’ve never been to Maksimir before,” he said with a smile. “Zagreb is a wonderful city and I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be here.”
In addition to being an avid fan, Beserra is also quite dedicated to learning about Croatian culture and language. In fact, he often posts about his progress on social media and even gave us an insight into his language skills during our interview with him. And when asked about his prediction for the match between Croatia and Armenia, Beserra was confident that they would emerge victorious with a scoreline of 3-0.
“I think it will be 3-0,” he said confidently. “And who will be the scorers? Modrić, Ivanušec and Majer!”