SOCHI: Croatia beat Russia to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals and they had an extra special guest cheering them on in Sochi.
Crotian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has been praised by fans across the globe for personally attending her country’s quarter-final victory over Russia, according to The Sun. The Balkan nation’s leader was seen celebrating in front of the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and in the players’ changing rooms after they knocked the hosts out on penalties.
Grabar-Kitarovic was born on April 29, 1968, in Rijeka in the Croatian part of Yugoslavia.
The Croatian president, 50, signed up to a student exchange programme while at school, spending a year at Los Alamos High School in New Mexico.
Grabar-Kitarovic is fluent in Croatian, English, Spanish and Portuguese, while she has some understanding of German, French and Italian.
When was she elected?
Grabar-Kitarovic became the fourth President of Croatia in February 2015, the first woman to do so. She has held multiple positions since joining the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in 1993, starting out as an adviser to the Foreign Ministry.
Following her studies in Washington DC, Grabar-Kitarovic returned to the Balkan country, joining their parliament.
Prior to becoming president, she worked as a Croatian Ambassador to the United States and as Assistant Secretary General of NATO before being elected by beating the current head of state Ivo Josipovic.
Who is her husband?
Kolinda Grabar married Jakov Kitarovic in 1996 with whom she had two children with.
Her daughter, 17-year-old Katarina, is a junior national champion figure skater, while the couple’s son Luka was born in 2003.
Mr Kitarovic was a part of a scandal while his wife was serving in Washington DC in 2010, having been spotted using an embassy car for private purposes.
Despite Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic claiming she works 24 hours a day, she paid the expenses for Jakov’s unauthorised use of the vehicle.