Nogomet is a Croatian word for “Football.” Remember it. It is as important in this country's dictionary this summer as “please” or “thank you.”Our obsession with football stems from the long tradition of quality teams that graced the fields of this country throughout history, but also from much more recent political and social events. As the country fought for its independence in a devastating war during the early 90's, sport became one of the means through which we raised awareness of who we are all around the world. Top sport stars were often referred to as “ambassadors of Croatia” in the media. Sport gave us a chance to triumph under our own flag and it was an exciting time to be a fan. Football, an undeniable champion of mass appeal, was at the forefront.Hearts beat as one Today, the country is divided on a number of issues, but the love for the national football team remains. When there is a big match on, you will know by the sight of empty streets, businesses closed early, and groups of people packed in front of TVs in bars and cafes. Everybody cheers and everybody holds their breath whenever one of our boys runs with the ball. Being a Croatian football fan is a very exciting affair. We are notorious for being able to lose any match, but also to be on our best when the going gets tough. Just ask the 1998 German team. You never know which face our team will show and the only safe bet is to not bet at all. Croatian football euphoria can be quite contagious, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself cheering on the red and white chequered jerseys this summer.On June the 12th we will open the 2014 Football World Cup in a game against the host nation – Brazil. It will be one of the most important football stories since our independence and regardless of the age, sex, or income level, all Croatian hearts will beat as one for that brief 90 minute period. Perhaps, after the game, we can start concentrating on some other things in this beautiful country of ours. Maybe the economy.