Whether with the U21 national team or the FCZ, Toni Domgjoni is neither loud nor spectacular. He is quiet, reliable, safe on the ball and incredibly strong. The type of worker who spares the artists in the team, who makes sure the engine is running. Actually, the defensive midfielder is only noticed when he is absent.
Not so today! In the U21’s second EM group game against Croatia, the opposing fans will also look closely at his feet. Because Domgjoni is playing against his homeland. The Swiss-Croatian dual citizen was not only born in Croatia, he also lived there until he and his mother followed his father to Switzerland at the age of eleven.
He didn’t need much start-up time in his new home, remembers Domgjoni, “I felt integrated very quickly. Football certainly helped me with that! “
“Of course, my parents keep their fingers crossed for Switzerland!”
Of course, the quiet step in front of the player against Croatia doesn’t want to attract too much attention. When asked if this game was special for him, he said coolly that it would not be his first time against Croatia. He says: “This game is very important and special for all of us.”
His parents, who once emigrated from Kosovo to Croatia and later came to Switzerland, are not in a dilemma either, he says and smiles. “You are of course keeping your fingers crossed for Switzerland. You are always for me! ” And thanks to him there are even people in the country of the enemy who would support Switzerland in front of the TV. “All my relatives are safe for me too,” says the 22-year-old. Of course, he himself keeps his fingers crossed for the Croatians in every game, in which Switzerland is not involved.
The starting position for the hit is simple: Croatia is already with its back to the wall and needs a win after the 0: 1 against Portugal against Domgjoni & Co. “Of course it’s an advantage that we won against England. But it doesn’t get any easier. We need full concentration and a cohesive team performance again, ”said the man from Zurich.
Extra training, extra sleep and rice with salmon
As everyone does, Domgjoni also wants to emphasize the special spirit in this group. “The atmosphere is great in this team, the team spirit is excellent.” And even if there are some language barriers between French and German-speaking Swiss, there is no Röstigraben. “Maybe it’s also because we’re all about the same age. But we really get along perfectly. “
As he did against England, he wants to play his part in the success today and eat up kilometers again. The recipe for his stamina sounds simple. Extra training. Extra sleep. And a strict eating regime. “Proper nutrition is very important for a professional athlete,” he says. He prefers to eat rice with salmon or chicken.
Published: 03/28/2021, 10:52 am
Last updated: March 28, 2021, 12:15 p.m.