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Over the last one month, the world has been unified by the FIFA World Cup-2018. Though France won the trophy, Croatia received warm reception of love from football fans around the world. The match plunged the French national soccer team in unfettered joy and a refreshing shower after a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup final. The game also hid tears streaming from the eyes of the fallen Croatians, whose heroic run through soccer’s ultimate testing ground offered hope to every small country with big dreams. Such a growth of Croatia stands as an inspiration for countries like Bangladesh too to dream big where the sky is the limit.
Croatians are masters of improvisation. People often ask how it is possible for a nation of only four million to produce so many class footballers. A proper answer, apart from the esoteric clichés of natural predeterminism or genetic predisposition, has never been offered by anyone. Sure, there are some good youth coaches – obviously, given all the talent developed in recent years – but there is no general programme in place that systematically educates or distributes young players across the country. Very few new stadiums have been built or properly renovated in the past three decades and the same goes for training grounds. The facilities almost everywhere are basic, at best; a lot of pitches are awful, the clubs struggling to make ends meet.
But the story of Croatian football success is mostly one of achievement in spite of numerous obstacles put in front of the athletes, rather than the result of a well-thought-out and organised system. Certainly, it is an example for the underdogs to practice and follow strategies to improve their football aesthetics. Perhaps, Bangladesh, in near future, can also grow and perform in FIFA World Cup with giants if players are well groomed and well sponsored.