World Cup in Brazil, here we come!

We went to Kaunas in Lithuania to witness this event and the wonderful moment when they blew the final whistle and it was clear that we had won. The joy was overwhelming, but you can see in the video how it was celebrated in Bosnia! How we've been waiting for this after all the times we have stumbled at the finish line and still cheered over and over again with even more strength every time. You may wonder why the heck Bosnians celebrate like we've won the World Cup, when the chances are that we don't make it any further from the group stage. But just to qualify for the World Cup, along with countries like Germany, Spain and England, is a huge success for our war-torn country that didn't have a national team until after the war in 1996, when they didn't have any resources and traveled around a shitty little bus, but did their best because they knew better times and new generations would come.

But the important thing to point out is that it is about much more than just football. That success is huge when it is not moving forward for the country anywhere else, neither politically, economically nor socially. This article by Aftobladet quoted a supporter from Sarajevo: "They have no idea what they have done for the people here. We all need a little Brazil. It's not even about football anymore. This is a feeling that many of us has forgotten and the younger generation never have experienced, the feeling of success." In a country with corrupt politics, where frustration over unemployment and hopelessness creates even more conflict, the success in football is something that really unites the whole nation and all of us Bosnians scattered throughout the world.

For me, the national team represents the country in more than just football. The national team consists of people of different religions and backgrounds but who still see themselves as a team, a people, who love and play for the same country - an attitude that I wish all the people in the country shared. And despite the setbacks we rise up again, and love and cheer wholeheartedly again and again. Even when it feels hopeless. Throughout history, the country has risen from several wars and I'LL BE DAMNED if it doesn't rise from this hopeless postwar situation still going 20 years later, because that's what Bosnians do - rise. I hope this success raised hopes for the future.

I didn't mean to write a whole article, I just want everyone to know! And now the whole world who watch the World Cup will see Bosnia & Herzegovina on the map. We have fought and earned this. We have among the best, if not the best, supporters in Europe (yes, I said it, and you are welcome to refer to a nation that despite its small size literally invades cities and takes over the arena of qualifying matches). A lithuanian posted the clip below on Youtube, it's from yesterday when we marched to the stadium in Kaunas. The second video is a bit longer with the reactions and interviews with players and reporters crying. I have also cried a number of times. My own pictures and videos coming soon, right now I have no energy left.

Despite all this euphoria, I feel like I must address something incredibly tragic that has also been on my mind all day. Three Bosnians died in a car accident this morning when they drove through Poland, on the way home directly from the game. They were big supporters and one of them was the leader of a supporters group, and also took part in an interview during the day where he says (almost as if he knew) that he wants everyone gets home safely to their families without any car accidents. Life is so short and even in the most wonderful moments something so tragic can happen. Never sit behind the steering wheel tired, accidents happen in a second. My thoughts go out to their families. And everything they have done for the national team. Rest in peace.


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