Skopje is not my 2nd home – it is my HOME

We allowed the fans to ask Igor Karachic about everything they are interested in, stating with whether he would stay in Skopje, how he rests, who is his best friend, with whom he would replace for a day, would he marry a girl from Skopje ....

At the moment, he is with the longest "years of service" in Vardar and he is one of those who knows how much Vardar means to the fans and the value of handball in Macedonia. When after a match the kids and the elderly want to take a photo with Vardar's players, Igor Karachic is always high on the list. Whenever the team does not do well, there is always Kara to take over the initiative.
We allowed the fans to ask Igor Karachic about everything they are interested in, stating with whether he would stay in Skopje, how he rests, who is his best friend, with whom he would replace for a day, would he marry a girl from Skopje ....
Igor was patient too and answered almost all questions.
What was everyone interested in was whether he would continue wearing Vardar's jersey in future.

*Is Igor staying in Vardar?
"I cannot answer at the moment. We will see. My contract expires at the end of the season. There is a possibility for me to stay here, but I will know more about my future in the next couple of days."

* What are your best moments in Vardar and in Macedonia in general?
"I will never forget winning the first title with Vardar when we defeated Metalurg, when no one believed in us and we previously lost the match from Strumica. We played against Metalurg in SC Kale and we won the title."

* Who was your idol, and do you have one now?
"My idol has always been my brother Ivan. He has always been my role model. I started to practice karate and play football, and I saw mu future in football, because I was really good at it. However, once I went on a handball training session and I fell in love with the sport."

* Would you start a handball camp and work with children to share your experience with them?
"Such an idea existed in 2016 when I won the EC gold medal with Croatia. We had an excellent welcome party in Zagreb and Mostar. I had many proposals and I accepted at first, but I live far from home. I am waiting for the times when all my brothers will come home and then we would certainly start a camp."

* Who of the players really "gets on your nerves" and if you were not a professional whose nose would you hit with a ball?
"There is one player who I usually hug, but there are times when I would "strangle" him because I know his potential and what he could do for the club and his family. This player is no longer with us – Strahinja Milic. He is the best friend I have ever had in the handball world. Sometimes I want to hit his nose with a ball, because I know his value, but there are moments when he does not appreciate himself enough."

* Who is the first person you share good news with and who is your biggest support?
"My family, of course. Most often I talk on the phone with my brother Goran. I don't have any secrets with Ivan too. However, my younger brother calls me often and we talk about everything."

* Who can you count on in the club?
"We all help each other and spend time together. The atmosphere is excellent. There are players that have been in the club longer than me and I would first ask them for help. There is no player that would not help."

* What is your favourite relaxation place and who do you spend your free time with?
"I tend to spend my free time as far as possible from handball. I want to relax, and I need to. Especially now in my 30's. I have a lot of friends in Skopje. One of them is Dejan Bogoevski, the owner of the café "Coffee Factory", which is in the building where I live, and that is the place where I relax."

* When did you start playing handball and what are your happiest moments so far?
"I started to train handball and football when I was 8, but I switched to handball because of my brother. There have been many happy moments in my career, especially when I won the gold medal with the Croatian national team on the 2016 EC and the welcome party we had in Zagreb and Mostar. It was hard to believe that Mostar would organize such a welcome party. The next happy moment is winning the 1st national title with Vardar and of course, the European title in Cologne and the welcome party in Skopje."

* What is your favourite Macedonian dish?
"Everything. My people from Croatia cannot understand how you can eat salad as a starter, before the main course. But I got used to that. Everything tastes excellent here."

* As a kid, what did you dream of?
"I wanted to be like my father. I talk a lot and he wanted me to study law. I like doctors and medicine attracts me. My father works in the Mostar hospital as anaesthesiologist. If I weren't not an athlete, I would have been engaged in medicine."

* Which is the most beautiful city you have been to?
"Mostar has always been no.1, but Skopje is no.2. Now, during the WC in Munich, I told everyone that Skopje is the best city in the world."

* Who do you mostly hang out with from the Croatian national team and from Vardar?
"We all hang out together in the Croatian national team, but mostly with Luka Stepanchic and Manuel Shtrlek. However, we all have a good relationship because we are the same age. We all hang out together in Vardar too, with Stole, Timur, etc."

* What is your favourite part of a training session?
"I don't like the conditioning part. We are all aware that it is necessary, but if we have to choose between playing games and conditioning, we would choose playing."

* What do you think of Vardar's fan club in Mexico?
"I sincerely did not know that we have fans there, and I am really proud. I believe we have fans in other places in the world too, and we will have much more."

* Would you dare saving a penalty shot by Kristopans?
"Of course, I know where he shoots."

* What did you think first when you came in Vardar and felt the atmosphere in the arena?
"I did know much about Vardar before. I did not have such a nice impression of the city at the beginning because it was winter, but soon I realized the meaning of Vardar and why people live for this club."

* Do you have a hobby?
"I am fond of playing tennis."

* If you have a son, how would you name him?
"I would certainly name him Ivan."

* With which Vardar's player would you replace for one day?
"Ivan Chupic. He has 4 daughters, a wife and a dog and I would like to see how he handles everything."

* You post many photos of your cute dog on Instagram. What is your dog's name?
"My dog's name is Misi."

* Who is your roommate/best friend in Vardar?
"Milic was my roommate in the past 7 years. Now, my roommate is Gorbok, but he is also absent because he has been injured, so I have different roommates."

* What is the best motivation speech, or part of a speech, you have ever heard, and it made you give more than your best?
"That was on the 2016 EC in Poland. We had to defeat Poland with more than 13 goals difference. Before the match, Petar Metlichic gathered us in the court and gave a speech I will never forget. He said that no one can stop us from dreaming, achieving our goals, and no one can take that away from us. It was a 2-minute speech, and we gave more than our best."

* Would Igor marry a girl from Skopje and live for the rest of his life here?
"You never know. Skopje is not my 2nd home, it is home. I got used to the life here, and when I am in Mostar for a month, I don't know what to do. My heart will make the choice."

* Does your jersey number 18 have a special meaning for you?
"As a kid, I wore 8 and my brother 18. There is no special reason."

* What it's like to play against your own brother and what do you think of then?
"We have played many times against each other, but it was weird on the WC in Qatar when 2 brothers played for 2 different countries. It was not locgical to sing two different hymns. I am from Herzegovina, my idols were from that area, and my dream was to play for Croatia. I was lucky to have Irfan Smajlagic as a coach, and my emotions were real."

* Which city is better to live in, Zagreb or Skopje?
"If I could choose, that would be Skopje. Skopje is my home."

* Can Vardar again win the European title?
"Of course, why not. When we won the title, we were not that strong, but we were all proven players. Today's team has the quality to win the title too. In 2017m we saw that anything could happen."

* If you have to compose a team, which players would you choose?
"The whole current Vardar team."

* Have you ever thought of retiring from handball?
"Many times, but not in the past several years. I was thinking of that before becoming a professional player, when I was injured, and when there was some sports injustice. You think of everything, but then you realize that you have to play because you have the talent."

* When you are done with playing handball, would you consider a coaching career?
"Not for now. But I am thinking of a camp to share my experience. Not only a handball camp, but a sports camp in general. For now, I don't think of becoming a coach."

 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 - 15:45