David McWilliams: Croatia wins at football, loses in economics – the opposite of Ireland

What Ireland has achieved economically and socially since Euro ’88 is phenomenal

‘The diminutive Luka Modric from Zadar shows that combination of talent and grit that defines great players.’ Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP.

‘The diminutive Luka Modric from Zadar shows that combination of talent and grit that defines great players.’ Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP.

Let’s just say it was a long night. All around this village, on an Adriatic island where cars were banned many years ago and the locals amble around at a pace that would make Andalusians look like sprinters, flares ignited, strangers hugged wildly and you could hear an entire country roar.

They say voices carry on the sea. Believe me they do. I am in deepest Dalmatia, Croatia’s rugged and beautiful coast. To see our neighbours’ hearts burst open with pride is truly a beautiful thing because Croatia has been through the mill in recent years.

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