Birmingham & Black Country

World Cup 2018: Birmingham man living in Croatia in 'win-win situation'

Nick Colgan Image copyright Domagoj Kunic
Image caption Nick Colgan has been living and working in Croatia for the past 15 years

While semi-final excitement reaches fever pitch at home, what is it like to be an Englishman living in Croatia?

Nick Colgan, originally from South Yardley in Birmingham, has lived in the country for the past 15 years.

The father of three said the World Cup semi-final was "difficult" for him, but he thinks England will "edge" the win.

Mr Colgan, 56, who owns the Garden Brewery in Zagreb, said the World Cup atmosphere had been "electric".

He said: "I'm in a win-win situation - basically, one of them is going to end up in the final.

"My allegiance is with England, my home country, but of course this has been my home for the last 15 years so I'm looking forward to a very special night."

Image copyright The Garden Brewery
Image caption Mr Colgan says there has been much excitement in Croatia ahead of the match

He added: "We were in Zagreb for the game against Russia and I've never seen anything like it to be honest, it was incredible.

"I don't think anyone was expecting either England or Croatia to get this far.

"England look very relaxed... I do think they will edge it but Croatia are a great side.

"It will be a great game."

Mr Colgan's English wife Charlotte will also be cheering on the Three Lions, and he has three children - Gemma, Lily, who is travelling after finishing a degree at the University of Birmingham, and Ben, who in Birmingham studying.

Lily and Ben both went to school in Croatia and Mr Colgan said: "We'll all be WhatsApping each other.

"They're like me - this is the most relaxed we have been, but England is obviously the first choice."

He said all the major supermarkets were shutting in Croatia for the match and the whole country would be watching.

And while he said his bar was likely to be full with Croatia and England fans, Mr Colgan won't be working, making sure he can enjoy the match.

Meanwhile, over in Russia, Paul Dubberley, 58, from Aldridge is watching his ninth World Cup.

Image copyright Paul Dubberley
Image caption Paul Dubberley, from Aldridge, has been in Russia for the whole of the 2018 World Cup

He said: "You don't expect we will get as far as the semi-finals.

"The atmosphere is completely brilliant because everyone is looking forward to the match and hoping we do well."

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