"We will choose our land, my people, because we already know a lot about it, we are already many, there are so many countries in the world," writes Croatian Marija Peakic-Mikuljan in her poem & # 39; Izaberimo svoju zemlju & # 39; (choose our land). The lyrics could very well be recited by Nikola Maras, Ante Coric, Dragan Rosic or Radosav Petrovic. Or to the many sons of former Yugoslavia who triumphed in the lands of Almeria. Ranko Popovic was one of the first to pack for Spain in 1995 with the newly created red and white entity, a red and white entity that oozes the Balkan air, although Al-Sheikh focuses on the Portuguese market: Mario Silva is the quarry director; Nandinho, coach of the & # 39; B & # 39 ;; and João Gonçalves, intermediate; not counting Pedro Emanuel and his Portuguese technical team.
Machida's future coach from the second Japanese made good crumbs with Lakasin Lakasin, also known as Laki, who landed at Cajalmería in the First Handball Division. And Laki married Almeria, so much so that he stayed to reside. Now Slovenian Tina Cvijanovic and Croatian Jovana Mandic defend the shirt of CB Almeria, the basketball club in which they also was the Slovenian Aleksandr Stakic a decade ago. Croatian Velimir Rajic practiced the same sport as Laki in Almeria, an Almeria in which Mate Bilic began to emerge. All with a common denominator: the competitiveness of the Balkans.
"Former Yugoslavia players have this character, we always want to give everything and we think we can give a lot for each club," said Serbian Nikola Maras, who has become one of the new idols for Almeria fans. in less than half a year, forgetting another important figure, in the case of Esteban Saveljich. Ranko Popovic, who knows what football and life is, believes it is a mindset of education, warrior souls. "We are very supportive, empathic and we like to share. We are more for team sports than for individuals, even if we have series like Djokovic. Tennis has historically been for the rich and we poor have made it one of the best players in history." the now coach.
If Popovic claims that the discipline now being taught in sports schools in the rest of Europe has left Yugoslavian street, Laki also refers to the street when asked about the competitive gene. "It's a very long story. The former Yugoslavia was a talent factory. How can you play sports better than on the street with other things, in the disco or on the computer. They go out to more competitive leagues," he explains. The former handball player. "The whole country will be ours, ours to celebrate the work," says & # 39; The Song of Work & # 39; of the extinct Yugoslav nation.
The work also tells Serbian Dragan Rosic to give his version of the causes of the small Balkan-watered countries that are the best in the world in many sports. "We work hard to be in good physical condition, constantly striving not to be outdone. We have one of the best conditions in Europe, training hard every day to be the best," says the goalkeeper of Almeria, who dreams of equalizing the four on the green, something that recognizes that today is not easy, although it may be at the World Cup next week. "There would be a good atmosphere, we would be very competitive, but I think it is not always possible," he says in his first words to a medium as a footballer from Almeria.
If the goal and Coric do not dare with the Spanish, Petrovic mimics Maras with the Castilian. Meanwhile, his talent seems essential. "Experience is important in a team with such young, albeit great quality players. Sometimes they have no experience and that is why they are important players with more leg seasons." In hard times, on and off the field, the older ones work and more on this team, with young players who want to get good things and demonstrate their quality, "says the Serbian midfielder. indispensable for Pedro Emanuel and José María Gutiérrez.
Coric, on the other hand, has arrived with a vitola star and is on the exit ramp in the winter window. The Croatian continues to rely on its possibilities, aware that it needs to grow in the game. "I need more goals, materialize the last moves to gain more confidence in me. I'm 100 percent with the team," says the Croatian, before hearing a Rosic who knows he now has no chance to play without losing hope of his youth. "The people of this club have told me that I have a future here, that I am patient because my time will come and that I can be the club's future goalkeeper. When I get the chance, I will more than prove my worth," the Serbian acknowledges.
Only 23, but Nikola Maras already has the soul of a leader. He was surprised to see him asking for support from the Mediterranean in his early departures as rojiblanco. TBalkan work and discipline, but without losing the mood. Petrovic, Coric and Rosic can't stand the laughter when AS asks the center if he feels starred. "People tell me on the street that we are doing a good job. It is important that people feel happy to interpret us very well. We realize. I don't know if I'm a star or not, but I'm happy and I want to give you a lot of joy. to give all I have to the fans, "the center responds while supporting the laughter of his teammates.
Talent, discipline and causality. "These are geniuses we have in there. We have been people who have always struggled to survive. And there is no better place to impose those feelings than sport. If we are not on the sports field, unfortunately we have historically been on the battlefield. We are warriors." " . Ranko Popovic word.