Cover of the book Dios, patria y muerte by Diego Mariottini.
There are daily acts that mark History. Situations that, seen in perspective, offer clues to understand what happened next. But that is something that is only known and valued over time. That match between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade on May 13, 1990 represented much more than a football derby. Two peoples – one that had political power and another that aspired to have it – and two religions (Catholic and Orthodox). And a ball as an argument. Or as an excuse.
There were already incidents in the run-up to the meeting. During the match, the Serbian ultras began tearing up seats and throwing them onto the pitch. In response, the Dinamo ultras invaded the pitch. And it was then that history accelerated until leaving the image of the Croatian footballer Zvonimir Boban kicking a policeman and becoming a prelude to what was to come but was not yet known. At least not in a general way: some had already decided that football was an excellent lever to begin to undo Yugoslavia.
Dios, patria y muerte (Altamarea), the work of journalist Diego Mariottini, is a story of football and violence. Collect the trajectory of Željko Ražnatović, alias Arkan, one of the greatest criminals in contemporary history, and is linking it with the Balkan War. A book to understand how Yugoslavia went from being an example of coexistence to hell. To understand how easy it is to light the fuse of hatred in the masses and use football as gasoline. To learn to interpret the signs of the present and place oneself on the correct side of the History that is to come.
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