Anton Samovojska Biography, Age, Early Life, Education, Career, Sport, Football, Personal Life, Facts, Wife, Children, Legacy, Social Media

Biography Of Anton Samovojska

Anton Samovojska Biography

Anton Samovojska Biography of a distinguished sports journalist known for his excellent sports articles and reports.

All fans of the most important secondary thing in the world, and course football, know who and what Anton Samovojska is.

His biography is fascinating to many lovers of this sport, and his special point of view and the interesting things he presents in his media activities make him one of the best sports analysts in this region.


The Večernji list columnist (Dražen Ćurić), where he started his sports journalism profession, called him an interesting title – analyst of all analysts, following the example of the legendary coach of the Croatian national football team, Miroslav Ćira Blažević, who due to his great success at the 1998 World Cup.

In France, he got the nickname – coach of all coaches.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

Anton Samovojska – Biography of a sports analyst

Anton Samovojska was born in 1951 in Duga Resa, and already at the age of 26, he started his journalistic career in Večernji list.


It is interesting that his journey as a journalist did not start with comments from football pitches, but began with a report from a chess tournament in 1977.

He revealed this to Ivan Posavac during a big interview for the Jutarnji list.

  • “It was 1977, a chess tournament was held in the Esplanade, which I came to watch. Look, I didn’t even write letters until then. I was watching the tournament like that and at one point Ico Kerhin approached me, he was then the editor of the sports section in Večernji list, and we knew each other from minor football.”

Reported from the chess tournament in the Esplanade

“He says to me: “Army, what are you doing here?”, I answer him that I came to watch chess, and he says to me: “Come on, don’t talk nonsense, you’re a football player!”.

I told him how I had been playing chess since I was a child, and Kerhin immediately decided to recruit me. He said to me: “Come on, come on, you just wrote a nice piece about chess for us, I have no one else”.

the popular “Army” began another of the many interesting stories. “I resisted, I told him that I had never done that, but that I would find him someone else.

I asked the first, second, and third, and they all refused me, and then, as I am very easy to persuade, I agreed to write a report on the tournament.

Kerhin asked me when the round lasts, I say until nine, he’s fine with me, at half past ten, and a typist is waiting in the editorial office.

So I came to the editorial office at half past ten and started dictating something and barely finished the article.”

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

“You will be a good journalist”

“I was sweating. When I was leaving the newsroom, someone shouted after me: “Hey, kid, did you write this about chess?”.

Terrified, I answered that I was. “You will be a good journalist,” he said to me.

After “Večernjak”, he “defended the letters” of Vjesnik (editor in the internal politics section) and Sportskih novosti (journalist and editor of the football newsroom), and for the last 15 years, he has been an indispensable member of the professional broadcasts of all major football competitions and matches on Croatian Radio Television.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

Multiple Journalist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award winner

In his rich journalistic career, he wrote many articles, and he won the peak of media attention with his interesting stories in the show “Brazuka”, a specialized HTV show that followed the events of the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

He deservedly won awards for Journalist of the Year on several occasions, and as he admits, he was most proud of the Anton Samovojska – THANK YOU very much award, which Vjesnik intended for the best young journalists.

Certainly, he received that award before he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, which could still take the throne in the ranking of awards won by this charismatic journalist.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

Anton Samovojska – career

Many rightly wonder if Samovojska played football.

The answer is – of course it is. However, he preferred small football, in which he was much more successful and top-class.

He was multiple winner of the prestigious mini-football tournament “Matchbox”, where he was declared the best player on several occasions.

He played for strong minor football teams Katarina and Grahorova, was the champion of Zagreb countless times, and in 1984 also of Yugoslavia. , on which he failed to impose himself.

However, a football career is not a prerequisite for successfully working as a journalist or coach later on.

There are many such examples in the world.

But what separates him from other sports journalists is his way of expressing himself, clear even to people who don’t follow football, and interesting to big fans who like to listen to him.

Another anecdote from a telephone conversation with lawyer Branko Šerić shows how good he was at his job:

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

Samovirska makes you love football

“Serić told me: “I had to hear you, you know, I have to thank you incredibly. You made it possible for my wife to love football!”.

To me, that is the most beautiful compliment in the world.

Bringing the game closer to someone who doesn’t like or care about football is something magnificent, it means you’ve succeeded.”

And that was Anton Samovojska, his minor football and journalistic biography is impressive, and his reports and comments after the match are unrepeatable.

Because he always had a handful of information, which is why many call him the “football encyclopedia”.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

Anton Samovojska – THANK YOU very much

He prepared very well for every media appearance.

He always prepared some less important and less sports information, which he knew how to pull out of his sleeve to make the show more interesting and entertaining for the viewers.

He used to ask the winners of important competitions every year to wake him up at two in the morning.

And no one ever had to verify that this information was correct. Because she was right, for all past and future beautiful moments in football broadcasts, one big thank you should be said to this great journalist.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

When did you leave Duga Resa? Did you have your first contact with football in it?

– I left very early, I only lived in Duga Resa for the first four years of my life, but I probably already had my first touches with the ball there. However, my link with football is certainly long-standing, through my father who played in NK Duga Res.

He played fullback and although someone might think at first glance that it wasn’t a big deal, it was. Namely, he played in probably the best team of all time, with Željko Perušić, who is surely the greatest football player ever from this Karlovy Vary-Dugorje area, and according to many, much wider. The legendary Slaven Zambata, when I once asked him who he thought was the best football player of all time, told me – “Željko Perušić.

He could simply do – everything!”. Another Dinamo legend, Mirko Braun, told me the same thing and added “You know, he was great if he played I didn’t even have to come to the game, he would solve everything”.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

And when was your first direct contact with football?

– Now it depends on what we are talking about. If we are talking about the street, and meadows… then very early. Of course, I, like most kids, quickly became crazy about football and we ran after the ball all day long.

However, as far as official football is concerned, it came quite late from today’s perspective, but you must know that it was also a completely different time. It wasn’t like today when parents bring very young kids to training and that’s it.

In my opinion, children nowadays start training much too early, at that age everything should still be a game for them. This way, if you bring a five-six-year-old boy to football, that means he’s been training for 12 years at 17-18! At that moment, many people have had enough of everything, and the possibility of injury is much greater.

Today, some kind of serious football starts much too early, which is bad, there is a flood of those categories, fingers, tinkers… Before you had pioneers, juniors, and seniors.

And done! Likewise, you couldn’t just bring your child to training, some great coaches took care of it, one of the biggest in Karlovac…


– Čavlek, of course. He was a genius, he spent days and days walking around town and watching kids play football, how they move, what their motor skills are, and who can make something of them.

So he invited them to training sessions. It is, therefore, no wonder that in his time Karlovac had great players, that the Janjanin brothers, and the Cvetković brothers were “created”, and there were other great players like Baršić…

Is that the only thing missing today?

– No, but it would help. However, there is also another very sensitive matter, which would certainly be a scandal today, but it is an opinion in which many great coaches and football players agree.

I will illustrate this with an anecdote about the legendary Hungarian football national team player and then the coach of Građanski and after the war Dinamo, Martin Bukovy.

Dinamo invited kids of a certain age to sign up for training, and Bukovy stands in front of the entrance an expensive car arrives, the mother hands over her son, and Bukovy says with his clumsy Croatian “No, you couldn’t”. After that, a single kid comes on foot and shows him to go to the field.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

Excessive comfort is not good for football?

– Yes, poverty has always produced the greatest aces. The great Brazilian ace Gilberto Silva told me almost the same thing in an interview. He said, “There is no good football player where the fridge is full”.

So you came to the first training session without a car?

– Of course, but I started quite late. I was breaking, because I also loved chess very much. I was a good chess player and I loved it very much, I made it to master’s candidate, and I was the first president of the Croatian Chess Federation in 1991.

But at one point, regardless of what was said, it was already too late, at the age of 17, I broke down and tried to devote myself more seriously to football.

Perhaps it is not particularly successful because of another saying, this time from our famous Dražan Jerković, who once told me “There is no great football player among excellent students”. And, unfortunately, I was excellent (laughs).

On the other hand, you started with small football, through the street and meadows, from a young age. But when did it become more serious?

– Well, somewhere around the time even small football became more serious. First, various city leagues around Zagreb started, sometime in 1969, even before the legendary Matchbox, and it’s a very interesting story of how it all started.

Because, again, it is related to chess. Namely, we signed up for the tournament as chess players and that’s what we really were, our grandmaster Cebalo also there, was a center forward, we were all chess players, and we only had one handball goalkeeper in goal.

And we won that league to everyone’s astonishment, and we were first not once but twice in a row. And again, a statement comes to mind, this time from Biće Mladinić, another legendary Croatian coach, who once told me “After a match, your legs shouldn’t hurt, but your head!”.

Of course, he was referring to thinking about the game, and it’s obvious that as chess players we were good at that!

Later came the legendary Grahorova, according to many the best mini-football team of those times. And, it is also a link with Karlovac…

– Yes, we had a lot of success, we were the champions of Yugoslavia, and we were always very good at tournaments, both at the Matchbox and in Karlovac.

The Karlovac tournament at that time was extremely strong, that term was good, so everyone after Kutija would go to Karlovac and all the strongest teams played.

I have never seen such a visit anywhere, it would have been a full hall from the first round, and at the final, people were hanging out everywhere. I won the Karlovac tournament twice, in 1983 with Grahorova and in 1987 with Katarina.

It was the golden age of indoor soccer, and along with the Matchbox, the Karlovy Vary tournament was certainly the biggest in the country, not only in Croatia but also in the country at the time.

Is there an anecdote from that time?

– Well, now I remember how people in Karlovac always, from the first round, bet on everything possible. In 1981, we played against the Friends team, I could see that they were solid guys, solid hacks, and a man came to us and said “Could I bet on you that you would win three points”? I say, let it go, don’t, they’re a good team, and teammate Major jumps in and says “You know, you bet we’ll get two points and we’ll hit the crossbar”! This one is looking to see if we are serious, and, what are we going to do, accept the story. Enthusiastic, the man says “Oh, well, I’ll take down the entire stand for that”. And what happens? Unbelievable, but that’s it.

The first half was 3:0 for Prijatelje, we are nothing. In the second, we won, lost, and in the end, we won 5:3 and hit not one but two crossbars.

After the game, a man comes with a bag full of money, delighted, out of his mind, and takes us to dinner in Roganac.

You were the best player of the Karlovac tournament three times? What was your indoor soccer “secret”?

– Yes, in addition to those two years when we won the tournament, I was also named the best player in 1981.

And, there was no secret, even though Zambata told me after one hack, “I haven’t seen this yet, I’m looking at you, and you’re doing everything wrong” (laughs). Maybe that was the point, everyone was always looking ahead, and I introduced that turn of the back to the opponent.

Until when did you play?

– Seriously until 1989, when I was 38 years old and it was time to stop pushing. However, I continued hacking for a long time, until the age of 62, with friends and in veteran competition.

Then I still “declared” the end. I know and I can even today with the ball, but in place. The problem arises when the ball goes further…

Do you go to the games? After that golden age of small football, today the situation is completely different, there are fewer and fewer teams, unfortunately, there was no tournament in Karlovac this year…

– I do occasionally, but rarely. Why are there fewer people? Surely there are various reasons, but I would like to talk about the hacker one. Everything has simply changed, as in big football.

The teams used to play 2-3-5, today they play 5-3-2, Simeone is already at some kind of 5-5. Everyone played for the goal, to score more, and today everyone plays not to concede. It’s the same in indoor football and it’s certainly less interesting to people.

There is often a story about modern football and the former, more romantic one, what do you think about it? Are you still as fond of football as you used to be?

– Yes, my wife says that the code on the screen is always green. I can’t get enough of football, but things change. Only, the trick is to find a player who is worth it, and there are always some. And then I look at him and enjoy it.

Then one thankless question, who is the greatest of all time?

– Yes, it is always ungrateful and a constant subject of debate. I won’t say anything new but the three that stand out are the ones I’ve seen live, Pele, Maradona, and Messi.

Who to choose from the three? I don’t know, I’ll just say that it’s no coincidence that Pele’s nickname is O Rei, that is – the King.

Did you watch it live?

– I did, and I’m going to contradict myself a bit, because when I watched him, he wasn’t exactly brilliant, although it was clear what kind of player he was.

It was in Zagreb at the match between Dinamo and Santos in 1969, a match where there must have been the biggest visit ever to Maksimir.

It is officially maintained that the record was set in that qualifying match between Zagreb and Osijek, but here the statistics are not even kept, I don’t even know where all the people were, but there were certainly over 70,000 people.

Pele wasn’t in much of a mood, although he did have one incredible bomb in the crossbar, one of those that is said to make the crossbar still shake.

And, an even more ungrateful question, after watching so many matches, do you have any that you particularly remember as the best or your favorite?

– Uh, there are countless. But something always crystallizes in your head, so here comes to mind the match between Dinamo and Eintracht from the legendary 1967.

It was the semi-final of the Cup of Fair Cities, Dinamo lost 3:0 in Frankfurt, and in that rematch against the top Eintracht team at the time, he was real football poetry.

Big 4:0 and a game to remember. When it comes to emotions, that 5:0 victory against Partizan, right after the war, was really special. That’s about emotions, and otherwise, there were, really, really many top matches.

You followed many of them live, how did you get into journalism?

– Well, that’s a story that is again related to chess. It was 1977 and the Yugoslav Chess Championship was held in Zagreb, at the Esplanade. I went to watch it too.

When suddenly, Ico Kerhin comes to me and says “What are you doing here? Are you watching? And you know them? Look, I’m looking for someone to write me a report”.

I immediately started to get away, I didn’t even have a clue then that I would be a journalist, I had no idea about journalism, I said I would find someone else, but the first one couldn’t, the second couldn’t, the third couldn’t… and Kerhin tells me ” then you will”.

He asks me when it lasts, I say until somewhere around 9, and he tells me that the typist is waiting for me at half past ten. And to write half a page. A

new shock, I thought I only needed results, maybe a few sentences… But, it turned out that I wrote an excellent text, they told me that they would like me to stay and very quickly I fell in love with that job and it marked my life.

It also brought the opportunity to watch live the world’s biggest sports events.

– Yes, although people are sometimes surprised that there wasn’t much more. But I tried to be fair and correct, as an editor I preferred to send journalists to be on the field rather than to take a position.

I never liked to push myself. But, of course, there were big events that I followed, I was at the football European Championship in 1984 and 1988, then in 2008, I was at the World Cup in 1990, and I reported from the Olympic Games in Barcelona and Atlanta…

Barcelona was special in everything during our first Olympic Games, but I especially remember Atlanta, because then I also worked in handball, I was the secretary of the RK Zagreb and that handball gold came in Atlanta, the first Croatian gold in history.

The journalist from CNN tried to ask me what it means to us as a small country, and I cried like a little child, I don’t know if I even managed to answer her.

Our sporting successes are sometimes almost inexplicable given that the conditions are objectively bad. How do you explain the new incredible football success?

– It’s simply a miracle. I can’t explain it, it’s like someone has a magic wand. Fantasy.

We don’t have to go far, go to Hungary or Slovenia and see what kind of conditions they have, what kind of stadiums, what kind of training complexes.

Unfortunately, they are well ahead of us. But, well, we have world silver and now world bronze. How to explain it? Talent? We certainly have a lot of it.

But I would say that this team now has an incredible, unimaginable fighting spirit. They do not accept defeat. That’s it, they don’t accept defeat.

But we also had a great generation. What to do next? Can we again create someone who will be so competitive with the very top?

– We can, but I think the big problem is that talents leave too soon. People forget that Modrić played until the age of 23 in Croatia.

He went out with a bunch of big games already and he wasn’t late.

Today, all these talents seem to be in a hurry to leave as soon as possible, and that is usually not a good thing.

There are countless examples, the most famous is probably Alen Halilović, but there are many more, one Balić and then Stipe Perica, who many people probably don’t even know about today, and I thought he would be the center forward of the Croatian national team.

However, the boy went to Chelsea at the age of 17 and disappeared. Occasionally there are some opposite examples, but again more often with some difficulties.

Let’s say Oršić, struggled in Korea, but luckily returned to his true form with his return to Dinamo.

What do you think about women’s football? To end with something long-winded…

– Haha, yes, there is a direct link to our famous Marija Matuzić, Maca Maradona. An amazing woman and player.

And what do I think about women’s football? All the best! And really. He has made incredible progress in the world and these are matches worth watching.

The girls play very well and the viewership of the big competitions is incredible.

This year we have the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and I really recommend from the bottom of my heart to everyone who might be skeptical to try to watch the game without prejudice and they will see – great football.

Anton Samovojska Biography
Anton Samovojska Biography

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