Heartbroken but proud Croatian fans in Zagreb cheered and wept as their heroes went down 4-2 to France in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday.
On the final whistle applause from tens of thousands of Croatian fans rang out through the capital’s main Jelacic square as many lit flares and set off firecrackers.
Fans cheered the players on a big TV screen in the packed square, as car horns began blaring on the streets of the Croatian capital.
“Our boys gave everything on the pitch, till the last drop of energy,” Kristijan Strnic, 22, dressed in a red-and-white chequerboard jersey, told AFP.
“It was a spectacular match, the nation is grateful, we are so proud of our golden team, they fought like lions,” he said.
As a party began in the square to celebrate the team’s performance a distraught supporter Aurora Krnic said with tears in her eyes that the second place was “still fantastic”.