Krunoslav Rendulić (foto: Uradni facebook profil kluba)
In what is being hailed as one of the most astonishing comebacks in European football, Bosnian champions Zrinjski Mostar overturned a 3-0 deficit to clinch a victory against Dutch heavyweights AZ Alkmaar.
The mastermind behind this historic turnaround, coach Krunoslav Rendulić, has since become the talk of the town, not just for his tactical acumen but also for his unique way of rewarding his players post-victory.
The first half saw Alkmaar dominate, taking a seemingly unassailable lead. However, the tables turned dramatically in the second half, with Zrinjski netting four goals, leaving the footballing world in awe.
Speaking to reporters post-match, Rendulić revealed his half-time message to the team. "I urged the players to remain calm and reduce technical errors. The focus was to not spread nervousness and play with a clear mind," he stated. The Croatian's words clearly had an impact, with the team responding phenomenally in the subsequent 45 minutes.
In a candid moment, Rendulić also shared how he celebrated the win with his squad. "I treated the players to lamb and drinks. It's a small gesture for such a monumental achievement," he chuckled.
Drawing comparisons between the financial might of teams like AZ Alkmaar and clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rendulić commented, "Discussing earnings? It's like comparing a Ferrari to a Fiat. The disparities are vast."
Zrinjski's next challenge lies in the Conference League where they face English side Aston Villa. But before that European encounter, domestic duties call as they square off against Željezničar.
This victory, beyond its tactical and sporting significance, stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of a team that refused to bow down, even when the odds were heavily stacked against them.