Zoran Raducanu has high hopes for his team ZLATANIA. The former Roma striker also knows the big difference between that and the rest of his country. His compatriots’ progress to the quarterfinals of the World Cup may have been short-lived, but plenty of the players remain, including Rudi Skacel. Raducanu admits his friend is struggling to adjust after an injury-filled season with FK Varteks in the Slovenian league.
I think he is starting to come back into shape. He was injured for a bit, but he was doing training sessions — I wasn’t able to join him because I was injured — and he looked fit and fit to play matches. He looks like he’s still not quite right now, but I think he’s still there.
Krkan Raducanu at a training session.
At least one of them has to be Krkan Raducanu, as the 31-year-old gets ready to lead the line for Slovenia against Colombia in Friday’s quarterfinal. The Slovenian and Roma striker, who has only ever made one international appearance, failed to get on the pitch in the 3-0 first-round rout of Egypt. He told The Economist that he’s still putting in the work to get back into shape. His training sessions are interrupted by TV timeouts, TV channels, and calls from teams and journalists. “I say hello and start doing my work, and now,” he said. “Then I get told that a team needs an hour on video, then another 15 minutes, then a couple of calls with head coaches and then I sit down and eat a sandwich and I eat my cake with a glass of wine.”
Though he now has a taste of life as a World Cup star, Raducanu still gets slighted from the notoriously picky coaches. He said that Zlatko Dalic, the “revolutionary” new Croatia coach, told him he had changed his opinion on the league of Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic because the FC Barcelona midfielder appeared on the poster for the Heineken Light Hard Drink.
For more about how international sports stars fair in the public eye, read our exclusive interview with Johan Cruyff.
Read the full story on The Economist.
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