|On June 20, 2014, Mr. Borislav Maric, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to China, talks about the World Cup in an interview with People’s Daily Online. (People's Daily Online/Huang Yuqi)|
On June 20, 2014, Mr. Borislav Maric, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to China, talked about the World Cup in an interview with People's Daily Online.
Q: Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for your time. I would like to begin our interview with the match on Monday. Bosnia and Herzegovina lost the match to Argentina 2 to 1. What's your opinion on that game?
A: It was a good game. Though Bosnia and Herzegovina lost it, the performance was good. There were many reasons for the defeat. Firstly, the Argentina football team is strong; secondly, this was the first time that Bosnia and Herzegovina team participated in the World Cup. I believe the next game, with Nigeria, we will give a better performance.
Q: As you said, this was the first time that Bosnia and Herzegovina entered the World Cup. We have all seen the capability of the Bosnia and Herzegovina team. And I wonder, what makes it a strong team?
A: As you know, the former Yugoslavia was very strong in football. Bosnia and Herzegovina as one of the six countries that divided from the former Yugoslavia, has a solid foundation in football. Our players have unique skills. Many of them play for top football clubs of other European countries.
Q: How about the common people in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do they love football?
A: Of course. Football is very popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We can say it is our national sport. Our people also love basketball and other sports, but not as much as football. We love football, just like Chinese people love ping-pong. We are a small country of only 4 million people, but we entered the World Cup.
Q: Since football is the national sport of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Do you like football?
A: Yes. I started to play football as a child. Now I am middle-aged, but I still play with my friends sometimes. I love football. Recently, because of the World Cup, I often stayed up late to watch the game, and my family would remind me to have some rest. I also like to do some analysis on the games. I am every interested in the match between England and Uruguay, and the match right after the opening ceremony, between Brazil and Croatia. Croatia is our neighbor and Brazil is a strong team. Simply speaking, if you were born in a country that people all love football, you would love it too.
Q: Talking about the game between England and Uruguay. The performance of England surprised many people, and now, they have little hope to enter the next round. And unexpectedly, Spain has been out too. What’s your opinion on these two teams?
A: This is the World Cup. We can't say which team is the best. Each team is good. Spain is the Champion of the 2010 World Cup and the England team is a wonderful team too. The problem of Spain, in my opinion, was that they didn't make any progress. So did England—they didn't show any new things in the field. So, the Dutch team and Uruguay team had already known how they would play. They did the analysis. Uruguayan player Suarez, he played for Liverpool football club, and the England team should know his capacity. But they didn’t make enough preparation.
Q: Which team, in your opinion, will be the Champion this time?
A: It is hard to say. Personally, I think four teams are hopeful: first, Germany, it is my favorite; second, Belgium; third, Argentina; and fourth, Dutch. We will know.
Q: Do you know about Chinese football. Could you give some suggestions to Chinese football? Or what experiences China could learn from Bosnia and Herzegovina?
A: I love China very much and this is the second time I take the post of ambassador to China. I know about Chinese spirit and Chinese people. Most Chinese football players are diligent and have good discipline. We can all remember that in 2002, Chinese team entered the World Cup, and it was the only time. The whole world was surprised. I asked my friend, Bora Milutinovic, the coach of Chinese team, how could he make it? He said he related Chinese spirit with the World Cup. What the Chinese team need in future? I think the Chinese players have good discipline and sense of tasks. They need motivation. It's hard to explain. I am sorry that the Chinese team didn't make it to this World Cup. I believe the Chinese team will participate in the 2018 World Cup and get a good result. People like Bora Milutinovic are important, because he could gave a special feeling to the players. Chinese players are diligent, so they need improvement in spirit. Besides, I suggest that you should provide more football courses to children, so they will be interested in football from childhood.