Sports Bundesliga: Rakitic defends Neuer: "One of us"
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Croatian international Ivan Rakitic defended Manuel Neuer after his much-discussed holiday video. The FC Barcelona midfielder did not understand the excitement because the song that Neuer, his goalkeeper coach and friend Toni Tapalovic and other guests sang in a beach bar in Dubrovnik had "nothing to do" with a right-wing extremist background. The 32-year-old told Sport1.
"In the video they sing about the love for Croatia. You can see how comfortable Manu is. Hundreds of people have called me and told me how thankful they are for being there," Rakitic continued and came to the Conclusion: "It's a shame what is going to be made of it now. Manu hasn't done anything. He feels comfortable with us and he brings the Croatians closer together."
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Neuer was "like one of us" in Croatia and "incredibly proud" that the 2014 world champion " always comes to Croatia and feels so comfortable with us ". Rakitic played for four years with FC Schalke 04 before Neuer joined FC Bayern Munich and Rakitic joined FC Sevilla. However, the Croatian still likes to look back on the time together: "For me he was like an older brother at Schalke."
The Bayern goalkeeper's holiday video attracted so much attention because the song "Lijepa li si" ("You're beautiful"), the newcomer, sang with FCB goalkeeper coach Toni Tapalovic, one of the group's most famous songs "Thompson" acts. The Croatian volume has been accused of glorifying Croatian fascism for years; it is primarily classified as a right-wing national group close to right-wing extremism.
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For example, the band was named after the nickname of its founder Marko Perkovic, who carried a Thompson submachine gun with him during the Croatian War (1991 to 1995). Due to the right-wing national sentiment that Perkovic and Thompson have spread in some songs, several European countries have already imposed entry bans on the group. The band's concerts included the fascist Ustascha song Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara , which glorified the killing of Jews and Serbs in the Jasenovac and Stara Gradiska concentration camps.
Rakitic, however, highlighted the band's popularity in his home country. "The singer is an incredibly well-known man who is loved in Croatia," he said. "He gives concerts all over the country. The song is about the love of Croatia and how beautiful our country is."
Clemens Verenkotte emphasized the same in Bavarian Radio . The song was "almost the unofficial hymn of the ruling party in Croatia", the ARD correspondent in Vienna had to think about and remembered an incident in May 2019 when the song was played at the closing event of the European People's Party, at which Chancellor Angela Merkel was present to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and clapped along with the song.New in the song trap in Croatia? Merkel also clapped
at Thompson-Lied "I didn't get the impression that the German delegation or the Chancellor knew who Thompson was, what a band it was, what the smell of it," said Verenkotte at BR24 : "So you might have to subsume. I don't think Manuel Neuer, like many other German citizens without a Balkan background, knew who the band was and what they were singing on." When asked byBild
and Sport1 , Neuer's management merely pointed out that Neuer did not speak Croatian and thus implied that Neuer had no idea which song he sang from which band. A statement from the national goalkeeper is currently pending.
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