World Cup Star Pays for Hometown's Entire Bar Tab

Croatia fans had a night to remember on Saturday, as their team reached a World Cup semifinal for the first time since 1998.

GettyImages-993501550 Croatia's forward Andrej Kramaric (left) celebrates his goal against Russia with Mario Mandzukic at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on July 7. Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

The Vatreni striker Mario Mandzukic ensured fans watching the game in his hometown of Slavonski Brod carried on celebrating long into the night, after covering for over 25,000 Croatian kuna (around $4,700) worth of drinks at the city’s World Cup fan zone.

On its Facebook page, local broadcaster Radio Slavonija posted pictures of fans packing the Brod Fortress—one of Europe's best preserved fortresses—which has served as Slavonski Brod’s soccer hotspot throughout the tournament.

According to the report, Mandzukic had implicitly instructed the organizers to ensure his tab would be drunk dry. To put things into context, a pint of beer costs between 14 to 20 kuna.

The Juventus striker is not new to this kind of gesture, having previously donated around $25,000 to firefighters in his homeland.

Mandzukic’s wish in all likelihood became reality, with fans celebrating long into the night after Croatia knocked out Russia on penalties to reach only their second World Cup semifinal in their history.

Andrej Kramaric had drawn Croatia level with five minutes left in the first half, canceling out Denis Cheryshev’s opener, before Domagoj Vida struck in extra time to score what appeared to be the winning goal.

However, with five minutes of extra time left, Russia’s defender Mario Fernandes equalized for the hosts, taking the game to penalties.

It wasn’t the second time Zlatko Dalic’s men had to go all the way to a penalty shootout, after overcoming Denmark in the same fashion in the round of 16. Fernandes was one of two Russian players to miss from the spot, leaving Ivan Rakitic to score the deciding penalty for Croatia.

The reward for eliminating the hosts is a glamorous tie against England in Moscow on Wednesday and Dalic believes his team is well equipped to stop Harry Kane.

The Three Lions’ captain has led the race for the Golden Boot with six goals so far, but Croatia’s defense kept Lionel Messi quiet in the game against Argentina and Dalic believes Kane will face his hardest test of the tournament yet.

“We believe in our strengths," he said, as reported by BBC Sport. "We don't fear England."

"He [Kane] is top scorer—he's not easy to stop. But we have top center-backs. We managed to stop Messi and [Christian] Eriksen so hopefully we can stop Kane."

It is not yet known whether Mandzukic will repeat his generous gesture but maybe we shouldn’t bet against it.

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