England v Croatia: It's win-win for Shropshire family with split loyalties
For one Shropshire couple, tonight’s huge football semi-final is a win-win situation.
Because whoever wins, they will have a team to support in the final.
Nereo ‘Nick’ Kadum is a proud Croat, while wife Debbie supports England.
Their family of four, who split their time between Oswestry and Rovinj in western Croatia, will watch tonight’s World Cup clash between their two countries where everyone has a dog in the fight.
Nick and Debbie have been married for 32 years, and now that both are retired they visit the country of Nick’s birth often and run a business there.
But Debbie, 56, has her mind made up when it comes to football.
She said: “I will definitely be supporting England but my husband is still on the fence a bit. He is in Croatia at the moment, so he is getting the perspective of the fans over there.
“He wasn’t sure whether to watch it out in the town square with all the fans, he thought it might be too much for him.
“Meanwhile my daughter will definitely be supporting Croatia while my son hasn’t made his mind up.”
She added: “I think you would say we are a divided family, it is a heart versus head situation.
“Croatia is such a small country of about four million so it is good to see them doing well. Obviously the two countries have played each other before but not in a match as significant as this.
“We will all have our hearts in our mouths, I just hope it doesn’t go to penalties.”
Nick, 57, will watch the game in Rovinj while Debbie will take it in with daughter Elizabeth, 23, and son Matthew, 27 back home in Shropshire.
England are firm favourites with the bookmakers to come through tonight’s match victorious.
But Croatia are not to be taken lightly, with former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic all set to line up in opposition.
Debbie added: “It is sure to be an exciting occasion and we can’t wait for the game.”