Rade Bogdanović about Bjelica and Nikola Petković


The former footballer and representative talked about the behavior of wealthy athletes. “I have to tell you that these athletes are living beings who face certain life problems every day.

If we assume that athletes are millionaires and wealthy, we all know that money doesn’t guarantee happiness. They encounter a thousand problems, sometimes lose concentration, but it is a global trend that they have, let’s say, become more aggressive, and they are not good role models for young people.

I won’t say all of them, but there are some.” He said that he knows wealthy athletes who have earned a lot of money in sports but remained modest.

“I know a man who won the Champions League, made a lot of money, has a wife, children, and still travels by tram or bus,” he said. He also talked about his family and daughters, who did not pursue sports professionally but rather recreationally.

“They played tennis with their friends. I didn’t insist.

Sports is not easy, and especially not for women. Becoming a top athlete requires a lot of sweat, hard work, sacrifice; you lose your youth, your childhood…

When you ask me what I was doing from 1982 to 1988, I was just playing soccer and going to school. There were no parties.

My daughters were autonomous, they decided everything, what to study, which school to attend, what profession to pursue, I didn’t interfere. I think that when you give your child freedom and autonomy in decision-making, and you assess that they are of good quality, conscientious, and disciplined, that is a great success for me.”

“I prioritize family because I believe that the meaning of my life and everyone’s life is offspring, marriage, family. We can go to the Maldives, but what good is that if I don’t have my children in front of me at the table, in relationships.

I generally judge people based on their family. When I talk about footballers and sports, I observe what kind of person they are.

If he betrays his wife and family, he will betray anyone. I naturally won’t trust him from the start.”

Bogdanović emphasizes that he has been with his wife for decades. “I have been in love with her since January 4th, 1989, until today.

Those who rush into things later, get in trouble.” Does his family ask him: What do you need that for, be careful what you say?

“Of course, she is more rational, but that’s against my nature… Her opinions matter, it wasn’t easy for her, but generally she doesn’t interfere.

During the World Cup, she intervened twice, some views seemed strange to her, given my views on some very positive people, but I see it as a job, without personal benefit, stance… If someone ‘intrudes’ on me, what can I do, we are public figures.”

“People sometimes stop me when I’m walking. Sometimes there’s a bit of intensity in other people’s opinions, but I accept it because I accept everyone’s opinion, and you have to do that to survive and live.

What’s the problem with listening to someone else’s opinion that contradicts mine? What now?”

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