Danijel Subasic embodies Sochi’s heroism. The Croatian goalkeeper entered the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup and knocked on the door, intensifying the game against Russia, playing in a painful rather than the end, and making a wonderful interception from a compact angle. Preventing the host from winning in the second half of the stoppage time and saving a penalty to help his country win the gun battle.
This made Croatia the second team to win back-to-back relationships in the history of the game – after the 1990 Argentina, they repelled three penalty points in 16 rounds when they eliminated Denmark. This makes 33 years – only a third person can save four times in the World Cup’s shootout, which is comparable to the record shared by Harald Schumacher and Sergio Gucciceva.
It also highlights why many people think that Subasic played against Nigeria and a Messi-led Argentina in the group stage twice, being the pioneer of Adidas Golden Gloves.
“I started warming up before the kickoff and I felt the pain in my muscles,” Subasic explained to FIFA.com after the thriller at Fisht Stadium. “My physiotherapist massaged my leg and saw that I could play.
“Later, I felt pain again, but I didn’t want to give up. I know that the coach needs another substitute. During the break, the masseur did some quick work, just like a Formula 1 car after a pit stop, I and the new car. It’s just as good.
“This is a long season, but you have participated in the World Cup semi-final once in your life, and now there is no sense of giving up.”
Croatia’s opponent in Moscow is England, and Subasic is preparing for the game.
“There are great players in England – they are a great team,” he said. “They have a lot of young people, but they are really great, they are very fast, they are playing in a great club. This is for us. It will be another very tough game, a great game challenge.
“We don’t care about our competition or who is the most popular game. The important thing is that we do our best on the court. Do our best to end its ending.”
The Croatian team featured Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki and Davor Suker. In 1998, the French team won the world championship, leading the host, and then trailing 2-1 in the semi-finals. The Monaco was selected as the best goalkeeper in Ligue 1 in the 2016/17 season and he decided to let Vatreni fall into the same stage again.
“Some of my personal life goals are to participate in the World Cup, especially in the game. I am trying to reach this level in the club, now I enjoy it. Let this story continue!”