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  • Celtic View Exclusive: Filip Benkovic's story of tragedy & triumph

    Celtic View Exclusive: Filip Benkovic's story of tragedy & triumph

    By: Tony Connelly on 25 Oct, 2018 13:46

  • FILIP Benkovic’s path to Paradise has been one of both tragedy and triumph, but he believes it is those experiences which have made him the player he is today.

    The Croatian defender is on a season-long loan from Leicester City, and although he’s only four games into his Hoops career, he’s already impressed supporters with his assured play, most recent in the 4-2 victory over Hibernian last weekend.

    Benkovic’s journey to the Premier League, and then his season-long loan move to the Scottish Premiership, has been a long and arduous one, as he explained in a moving interview with this week’s Celtic View.

    He grew up in the Croatian capital of Zagreb with his mother, father and young sister, but the family dynamics of the Benkovic household took a sudden and tragic turn when Filip was a young child.

    “I grew up with my mum and sister for most of my life,” Benkovic told the Celtic View in an exclusive interview. “I lost my dad very suddenly when I was seven. He died of a heart condition. It was very difficult for us because nobody expected it. He seemed very healthy and then all of a sudden he was gone.

    “That was very hard for us all because we missed him very much. My mum worked various jobs to take care of us. She didn’t have a full-time job so she worked different jobs to make ends meet. I really appreciate everything she did for my sister and I growing up. She fought for us every day and she is like a superhero in my eyes.

    “My sister is two years young than me. We are closer now but growing up we were typical siblings and we would fight a lot. Now she has started to be more serious and we get on well.”

    Benkovic also explained that he looks on his move to the Scottish champions as one of his football highlights.

    “My move to Celtic is an achievement I am very proud of,” he told the View. “This is an amazing club to be a part of and I appreciate that very much. I am very happy to be here, to play for a club which such a great history and amazing fans. I feel that this is a very special moment in my life for me right now.

    “Before I came to Celtic I read comments from the top players in the world who have come to play against Celtic and they all said the atmosphere at Celtic Park was unlike anything else they have ever experienced.

    “I was very excited to experience this myself and even though I knew Celtic Park is a great place to play, I never expected to be so moved when I played in front of the fans. I can’t wait to keep experiencing that and I hope I can give back to the fans for their support they give us.”

    Read the full and exclusive interview with Filip Benkovic ONLY in this week's Celtic View. On sale now.

    To downoad a digital version of the magazine, click on the banner below.

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