Nikola Katic has opened up on his friendship with two Celtic players, as quoted by the Scotsman.
The 6ft 4′ centre-back signed for Rangers from Croatian club side Slaven Belupo, last summer.
He’s enjoyed several extended runs in the team, but he’s also faced stints out in the cold. Throughout it all, he says a friendship with teammate Borna Barisic and two Celtic stars, Filip Benkovic, and Jozo Simunovic, has helped.
“When I arrived, I knew Jozo and Filip from the national team and we were friends”, said Katic, as quoted by the Scotsman. “The first two months I just spoke with Jozo. I didn’t know if it was the right thing or not [to socialise] but as soon as Borna arrived we started to go out.”
“When we are out, football is off the table. We talk about women, about countries, about holidays.
“We ask each other how the game is, ‘I played good’, [for] two minutes and then we move on. I have not tried to get any secrets. There is too much football throughout the year, you can get tired of it sometimes and so we find other things to talk about.
“It was important to have friends in Scotland because this is a big club and at first I was alone. We always support each other mentally. Jozo has more experience than me, so does Borna, so I am the young lad. They helped me when I was out.”
Croatians sticking together
It’s obvious, that despite the historic divide between the clubs, these four players have become close.
Good on them, too. As a young player moving to a new country, things would have been much tougher for Katic if he hadn’t established friendships away from the training ground.
He makes it clear that when it comes to the Old Firm, though, he won’t let friendship get in the way.
The Croatian international is likely to start alongside Connor Goldson at Ibrox this afternoon.