FIFPro Award Day 5: “I Am Not Used To Winning Medals—I Feel Like A Star”

We have seen some incredible acts of kindness, sportsmanship and camaraderie across the past five days of 16th edition of the Homeless World Cup’s, an event renowned as a professional international football competition but also a tournament that advocates empathy, solidarity and fair play.

The Day 5 FIFPro award goes to the Slovenian team, with a special mention of the team’s goalkeeper Pzimoz Klarar, who showed the ultimate respect and courtesy by shaking hands, hugging the Guatemalan team and saying: “Let us play fair and enjoy!”

At half time a few of the Slovenian players were feeling discouraged as the game wasn’t going in their favour, but Klarar’s encouragement picked the whole team up. This award has left the goalkeeper ecstatic.

“My God, I can’t describe how I feel. I am not used to winning medals—I feel like a star. It is the last day—we are all really tired, we have given all our hearts to the pitch. I am proud that one judge gave me the whistle, another judge a blue and red card, and now this award all as prizes of my actions. I am tired, proud and really happy.”

For Slovenian team manager Suzi Kvas this is particularly important: “It is so nice to be a manager of a team like this. They work so hard, they have done everything to be here representing our Slovenia. This team smiles so much, have such positive energy. For us this is important. It isn’t only the football. Football is just one of the things we do. But the other thing is social support, ensuring that the players become stronger people and increasing their respect for themselves. We have been coming to the Homeless World Cup for eight years now, and it is the first time we have won the fair play award. I am so very proud of the team.”

Words: Craig Williams
Images: Daniel Lipinski