RADE MIJATOVIC: “WE FEEL LIKE HOME IN MACEDONIA”
The interview with Rade and Marija was published in the new issue of “Revita” the family magazine in the “Nova Makedonija” newspaper.
Rade Mijatovic, the goalkeeper of the Montenegrin national team, added HC Metalurg in his international career. He has recently moved to Skopje with his wife Marija. At the end of the first part of the season of the Champions League, we were guests at their home in Aerodrom in Skopje, where we talked about everything like we had known each other for ages.
At the end of the first part of the season of both the Champions League and the SEHA League and before the beginning of the excitement about the European Handball Championship, we hang out with Metalurg’s goalkeeper Rade Mijatovic and his wife Marija. In their home in Aerodrom we were welcomed as if we had known each other for ages, so we openly talked about the handball, their marriage, the travels, love and books, movies and their teen life, about Marija’s pregnancy and the plans in future. Rade comes from Montenegro and plays for the Montenegrin national team, and he has a very long and successful international career. After Serbia, Spain and Belarus, they have recently moved to Skopje where he signed a contract with Metalurg. They said that they had adapted to the new environment, they are happy how the people had accepted them, they had met many new friends, and they now live closer to home.
I feel like home in Macedonia although I had difficult time to adapt.
– After playing ten years in different countries, I had a difficult time to adapt in Macedonia because everything feels like home, and I was not used to feel like home. When you go abroad, you say to yourself that you do not know anything, you do not know the language, and you need to meet new people and learn that language. Here, from the first day I understood everything, and I immediately made new friends. Everything was simpler which was odd for me. I was used to start from zero whenever I went to play, and here I did not need to do that thing – says Rade.
Marija comes from Novi Sad where she met Rade while he was playing for Vojvodina, and since then she has been following him wherever he goes. They have been together for ten years and have been married for almost two years.
– It has not changed anything since we were dating and now when we are married, except for the fact that we did not see each other in the first days of our marriage. He was here in Skopje, and I had something in Belgrade, and we had not seen each other five days. I feel good here in Macedonia given that we are close to home, to Novi Sad, unlike before when we would switch up to three flights a day just to go home, and now we are just five hours ride to Vojvodina. And the people are very similar to ours, they are very friendly, they were really nice to us, also the food is very similar … Macedonia was a great opportunity – says Marija who is preparing her PhD thesis.
They cannot wait to hold Lara in their arms.
Marija is pregnant and her due date is this spring. They are having a girl. Marija and Rade have already chosen a name – Lara. They just hope for the best and everything else is unimportant.
– I do not do some special preparations for the new member in our family except for the psychological ones. My due date is in April. And if he prolongs his contract with Metalurg then we will make Skopje our home town – says Marija.
Rade is happy how he fit in Metalurg.
– I have perfectly fit in Metalurg, the players are great both professionally and in private. Some of them I have met before; they are remarkable athletes devoted to handball and we understand each other well, and we hang out as well. I have known for ages that the handball is a very popular sport in Macedonia, and last year I had the chance to feel the atmosphere of the fans when I came in Skopje as a goalkeeper of Dinamo Minsk. When I came here I was surprised how much people know about handball. The support from the audience can change the whole course of the match and this is a really important thing. Here, the people are familiar with handball and they love it which is not a common thing in the other countries – says Rade.
From the football pitch to the handball court.
Rade has been playing handball for 20 years. When he was young he started playing football, but his professor called him to be a goalkeeper of the handball team in one school match. His other professor who was a handball coach watched that match and he immediately called him to start his handball practice. Rade was not sure about this, but the coach was persistent and he successfully convinced him to keep on playing handball. It is evident from his play on the matches and the rich career that he was right. Although Rade and Marija travel a lot, for he has played in many clubs, still they both love travelling.
– We like to travel a lot like tourists. Actually, we like to do many things together. When we started dating I was still a teenager and he was older than me, so he guided in the movies, the music …Today, still he is the most reliable person to me when it comes to recommending a good book – says Marija.
Octopus on the goal.
In the club and on the court, Mijatovic is vicarious and vigorous, but at home he is devoted to his family. In every aspect he is modest and moderate. He has remained modest even after the amazing match against Vardar in the second round of the Champions League when the handball public called him octopus on the Metalurg’s goal.
– This is a usual name for goalkeepers. I give my best for the club. The athletes, unlike the others, characterize with strong ambition for victory, and to be better than the other – says Rade.
When Rade gives his best on the court, Marija is a very loud supporter from the audience. She openly says that she is not really interested in this sport, but she likes to watch him play.
– I always watch when Rade is on the goal. I do not understand much of the handball, but I am very frenetic and I shout very loudly. I used to go very often to his matches, but now I am pregnant and I go rarely – says Marija. They planned to spend in Serbia the two days of the New Year’s holidays when Rade is free. Then, he is expected to be in the Montenegrin national team and in Metalurg for the Champions League.