Croatia fans in Mississauga get ready for Sunday’s World Cup final
In the Streetsville neighbourhood of Mississauga, Croatian flags fly high and proud on car windows and outside homes.
But for the Biskupovic family, the more flags, the better.
“My house is filled with Croatian flags. We put up a new one every time we win a game and every time, we get bigger and bigger,” said Lucia Biskupovic, the youngest of the Biskupovic family.
Croatia takes on France in the World Cup finals on Sunday. For Croatia fans, the game is about more than soccer.
It’s the first time this Balkan nation has made it to the finals and for some, they said it feels like the first time the Croatian culture and identity has been front and centre for all the world to see.
“We’ve never made it this far. We are such a small country and I think that’s what all Croatians are proud of,” said Martina Biskupovic.
At Croatia Meats deli on Dundas Street East, owner Joseph Palic is busy roasting suckling pig, a Croatian specialty.
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“This is what everybody will be eating when we win on Sunday: a beautiful 20-pound pig,” said Palic.
On the deli’s walls, images of Croatian soccer heroes as well as another famous Canadian-Croatian legend, five-time Canadian heavyweight champion George Chivalo, who knows what it takes to win.
“I think Croatia’s got a good shot to win it all,” he said.
“I think they’re a loaded team and they’ve been well trained.”
Inside Croatia parish park in Mississauga, plans are well underway to welcome thousands of Croatia fans this Sunday morning.
The game will be shown on the big screen. But for the Biskupovic family, the hope is to host hundreds at a victory party in their own backyard with their own rented big screen.
“We just made history … It is about winning the cup, of course but the fact that we are in the finals, our name is so out there now,” said Martina Biskupovic.
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