Today’s photo daily, the latest in our Croatia series, was sent in by a reader directly. The words below are his, too, explaining the night that these flares went off as Zvonimir Boban made his last lap around Maksimir Stadion, Zagreb.
Boban day was held on October 7th, 2002. Some forty thousand spectators were in attendance, quite a bit over what the stadium actually seats. Every aisle was packed with standing fans. The atmosphere was electric. The fans at the north end of the stadium (Bad Blue Boys zone) were all given signs that displayed Boban’s #10 Dinamo jersey. While the east side fans (see below) were handed #10 Croatian jersey signs. The west had the #10 AC Milan jersey.
The evening consisted of three mini-matches. The first, pitted team CRO against Croatian media and celebrities. The second match involved the 1990 Dinamo Zagreb team vs AC Milan’s. Boban played with Dinamo for the first half then switched to Milan’s squad for the second half. In the finale, the Croatian bronze medal team from France “98 was matched up against the world stars. Taking part were players including Suker, Matheaus, Rui Costa, Rivaldo, Maldini, and Dessailly.
One of the highlights of the evening, for myself, came with about ten minutes remaining in the match. Goran Ivanisevic (Wimbledon tennis champion) came on in place of Boban. To the delight of the crowd, Ivanisevic scored on his first possession. The stands went mad.
World stars won 2-1.