Croatia's first woman president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is setting the benchmark for football fans with her passionate support for the national football team at Fifa World Cup 2018 in Russia.
The 50-year-old leader became a sensation on social media during the World Cup quarter-final between Croatia and hosts Russia in Sochi with her uninhibited celebrations from the VIP box of the Fisht Stadium on Saturday, July 7.
Grabar-Kitarovic, who was sitting to the left of Fifa president Gianni Infantino, often sprang out of her seat and cheered on for the Luka Modric-led team. The television cameras perfectly captured the roller-coaster of emotions the Croatian president experienced during Croatia's fiercely-fought win over Russia on penalties.
She was sporting enough to even high-five Russian president Dmitry Medvedev whenever the hosts had the upper hand in the see-saw thriller.
Grabar-Kitarovic was also seen celebrating and acknowledging the players' contribution after the match as she joined the party in the Croatian locker room after the match.
President of Croatia ?? celebrating in the locker room is something else!#explore #photography #instagood #beautiful #adventure #model #nofilter #fashion #instagram #quotes #sports #cairo #dubai #london #newyork #losangeles #boston #RussiaVsCroatia #Russia2018 #WorldCup2018 pic.twitter.com/xFtXUNbHOl— ELMENS (@elmensmag) July 7, 2018
The president's gesture shouldn't come as a surprise as she had flown economy class to Russia ahead of their Round of 16 match against Denmark earlier this month. She had joined fellow Croatian fans on a scheduled flight.
#KolindaGrabarKitarovic— Lakany (@AOsamaLaqqany) July 7, 2018
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (1968)
The First Woman President of Croatia, traveled with fans in economy class, and support their team with the crowds in the stadium.
A country of such values, deserves a World Cup in Everything. CHAPEAU pic.twitter.com/usXddoLBMY
Grabar-Kitarovic, sporting a Croatia t-shirt, had cheered on for the team, not from the luxury stadium suite but from the stands along with the fans. The Croatian leader later revealed why she had snubbed the VIP seat during the tense Round of 16, which also had a thrilling penalty shootout.
"I wanted to showcase that I am a football fan, like everyone else; I wanted to support the team among other fans in the stands. I put on a shirt with national symbols, whereas the dress code in the VIP zone, which usually presupposes long gowns, wouldn't have permitted such an outfit," the president was quoted as saying by Sportbox.
I wanted to demonstrate that I'm as much a cheerleader as everyone else, to support the team in the circle of fans in the stands."
Modric and his men have been in fine form in the ongoing World Cup as they have won all their matches en route to the semi-final. Their 3-0 demolition of Lionel Messi-led Argentina gave them a huge boost and the European side have managed to make best of the momentum.
Zlatko Dalic's men are a win away from reaching their maiden World Cup final. However, they will face a stiff test against high-flying England in the second semi-final on Wednesday, July 12.