[Guest Post Series] The World Cup beyond Brazil. Part 2: the Bosnian perspective [A Copa do Mundo além do Brasil. Parte 2: a perspectiva dos Bósnios]

Dando sequência à série iniciada em dezembro, o Segue o Jogo volta a ouvir a reação de torcedores de outras seleções sobre o sorteio da Copa do Mundo 2014. Se no primeiro texto lemos a opinião de um torcedor de um país acostumado a participar dos mundiais (leia aqui o post de Jeremy Stull sobre os EUA), hoje veremos a reação dos torcedores de um país estreante em mundiais: Bósnia-Herzegovina. O que os Bósnios esperam de seu primeiro mundial? O que significou a classificação para a Copa do Mundo? Leia, comente e compartilhe! 

Following the post series that we initiated last December, Segue o Jogo tries to find out once again how supporters of other national teams reacted to the World Cup draw. If in the first post we read the opinion of a supporter of a country that is used to take part in the World Cup (read here Jeremy Stull’s post on the US chances), today we will see the reaction of supporters of a team that is playing the World Cup for the first time: Bosnia and Herzegovina. What do Bosnians expect from their first World Cup? What is the meaning of qualifying to the group stage? Read, comment, and share!

 

Were you (and people from Bosnia in general) excited when your country classified for the World Cup?

Harisa Bačvić: Of course we were excited when our country classified for the World Cup. That was one of those things that reunited BiH people, we were all very nervous while the game with Lithuania lasted. Everybody was watching it, even the ones who never watch or care for football.

Narcisa Bašić Gaković: Excited isn’t word strong enough to describe it, it was like old dream coming true. More than 50,000 people were waiting for our representatives to come from airport to celebrate together in the centre of the city. Just after the game in Kaunas, 4 A.M. and it was really cold that night.

 

How did you feel when Bosnia group was drawn? Did it make you relieved or worried? Does Argentina worry you? What about Iran and Nigeria?

Harisa Bačvić: It is very clear that these representations are “the strong ones” and it will be a challenge for our team to win the game with any of these teams. Argentina is the favorite of this group, but we feel that we can win the games with Iran and Nigeria. That way we can place second in this group.

Narcisa Bašić Gaković: Relived at first because of last minute change in FIFA draw procedures. I firmly believed at the time that Bosnia and Herzegovina as debutant with no influence in FIFA organization would be drawn in that unpopular pot with African representations. After the draw, the first thought that crossed my mind was “Wow we actually have a chance to pass in second stage!”

Argentina doesn’t worry me, we did one friendly match not long ago and I think all people in my country are aware that they are absolute favorites. We are proud however that our representation will make its debut on Maracanã against Argentina.

Nigeria will be problem because of their physique and speed, but I believe we have experience and tactics on our side. Iran is dangerous too.

 

Are you confident about the Bosnian team? Do you believe they will classify for the 2nd stage of the World Cup? How far do you think they can go? Do you believe they can surprise the world and go up to the semi-finals or even win the Cup?

Harisa Bačvić: We love our team and are confident that they will go to the semifinals. Of course, a little bit of luck is required. You never know…

What we do know is that we are going to remember our “Bosnian Dragons” as the ones that gave our people hope and a sense of unity even in our divided country. They were the first team that made my heart beat faster and I do not even like football.

Narcisa Bašić Gaković: Of course, it will be tough but we are up for it. Being realistic and objective coming this far was reward good enough. Qualifying in second stage would be great but I don’t think we can go any further. We will try to show the world that we didn’t finish group stage with 25 goal difference by chance.

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