Milan Badelj, a Croatian football player who left his mark on the national team, has been honored by the HNS before the qualification match for Euro 2024 in Maksimir. Badelj, who played for Genoa in Italy and was dropped from Zlatko Dalić’s guest list, was recognized as a member of the legendary generation that won silver in Russia.
During the presentation of special jerseys with numbers 55 and 26, which mark the number of matches played by Badelj and Josip Pivarić (34), respectively, Marijan Kustić and technical director Stipe Pletikosa spoke about their contributions to the national team. Badelj and Pivarić both retired from playing at the end of last season but are still remembered for their exceptional performance on the field.
Badelj expressed his gratitude to HNS for recognizing his achievements and thanked them for honoring him alongside Pivarić. He said he had realized that he didn’t deserve to be honored after being dropped from Dalić’s guest list but was grateful for being included now. Badelj left Italy with his head held high and is excited to see where his career takes him next.