FIFA World Cup 2018: Croatian President wins hearts with celebration during win over Russia

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic celebrates wildly as her team defeated Russia to reach the FIFA World Cup 2018 semi-finals on Saturday.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic attended her nation’s FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-final match against Russia.(Twitter)
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic attended her nation’s FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-final match against Russia.(Twitter)
Updated on Jul 08, 2018 05:22 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByHT Correspondent

Croatia’s first female president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s celebratory gestures during her nation’s win over Russia in the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi went viral on social media.

In one of the most intense matches seen in this World Cup, Croatia edged past a gritty Russia side on the last kick of the penalty shoot-out to make it to the tournament’s semi-finals, for the first time since 1998.

After finishing at 2-2 at the end of regulation time, Croatia and Russia headed into the penalty shoot-out to decide the winner which will face England in the semi-final next Wednesday. However, it was only on the last strike — from Ivan Rakitic — that sealed the qualification for the Croatian team.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who travelled to Russia on a chartered flight along with several Croatian football fans, was seated alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as the game progressed.

The Croatian president, who was dressed in the national colours, even joined the team in their dressing room as the Croats reveled in joy after securing a win via penalty shootout for the second time this World Cup.

Croatia will now head to Moscow where they take on England in the second semi-final of the FIFA World Cup 2018, to be played on Wednesday, July 11. France will take on Belgium in the first semi-final on Tuesday.

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