Only a week after the European Championship finals in which Italy beat England at Wembley, another sporting event kept the global audience spellbound. In the breezy July evening, the finals of the football tournament “na male branke” were played between Dalmatino Drage and West Ham Razine (Razine is a settlement some 38km south from Drage according to Google Maps). Football tournament is a yearly event in Drage and it is played by three players each side, many teams compete for great prizes and it lasts about a week. The name of the “West Ham” team might be inspired by prosciutto *ham*, dried by the Maestral, a wind that blows from the *west*, but we didn’t verify this. West Ham played in dark red shirts while Dalmatino played in dark/blue/black shirts, no particular colors, one player was wearing a shirt belonging to NK Murter, raising doubts of his loyalties to Drage village. The referee was allegedly Italian, adding to the seriousness of this event. Many locals visited, as well as many tourists. Huge attendance was probably helped by the free 100kg of mussels buzara and 100kg of grilled meat, that was advertised by a car with (really loud) loud speakers, driving through the village and through the beaches all afternoon before the event.
The match was thrilling, if not only for the great game, then for the audience, standing behind a goal, who tried to avoid getting hit by a football. Many heads and backs avoided stray footballs, some didn’t, some beers in plastic cups were badly hit, exploding on the spot. A local legend named Car (Tsar) at some point casually walked across the pitch and while provoking a huge laughter from the crowd it didn’t seem to bother players very much.
After all was said and done on the pitch, Dalmatino Drage won 6:3, but both teams showed some incredible footballing skills. The main price was roughly 1000 Euro, to be split (fairly) among winning players. Another great price was also awarded in the tombola that the audience participated in, and that was slaughtered lamb. With the trophy, singing, lamb, huge fireworks and flares from local supporter group, the event was carried out long into the night, and music is still being heard from the pitch now at 8:57 the next morning.
Drage – Wembley, 10:0!!