If someone had not heard of Croatia before the World Cup currently being held in Russia and the national team’s reaching the top of global football, today they surely know of the small South-East European and Mediterranean country, which boasts such great and successful sports talents among merely four million of its inhabitants. How is that possible, a curious football fan from around the world may ask? The answer to that question is not as simple as it may be in some other countries known for their achievements in sport – thanks to investment in sports infrastructure and people. But, that’s not the case with Croatia. Not only in football.
The key to success is primarily in the mentality. In that Mediterranean, open, live, restless and competitive spirit. In the way of life, which is for the most part still lived in the open, in interaction with other people and cultures. This especially applies to Dalmatia, Croatia’s tourist jewel, which has spawned almost half of the players currently representing Croatia, among which are Luka Modrić, Danijel Subašić, Ante Rebić, Šime Vrsaljko and others, who have made a special mark on the Russia World Cup.
So, when a curious football fan enters the words Croatia, football and the name of one of the mentioned players in a search engine, they will be introduced to a whole world of Dalmatia with its natural beauties such as the pristine Adriatic Sea, its islands and hinterland, small towns and cities with rich, thousands-year old history and mild Mediterranean climate. They will see beautiful, natural beaches, hidden coves, stone streets, the walls of Dubrovnik, the Diocletian Palace, Salona, the Šibenik cathedral, the Knin fortress… Everything necessary for a perfect vacation.
Although Croatia and Dalmatia have established their long and rich tourist tradition thanks to their natural beauties, cultural heritage and hospitality, sports events and the results achieved by Croatian athletes such as the current success at the Russia World Cup will surely bring in new visitors. To someone across the globe who has until recently not even heard of Croatia, it will become more than football; it will become a newly discovered tourist destination for a perfect vacation or a pleasant place to live.