Regarded by many as the player with the best technique that ever played for Croatia, Robert Prosinecki’s standing in world football is undisputed among those of a certain vintage.
Tonight he displayed just a flicker of the flair that defined his time as one of Europe's most exciting midfielders, as he launched the ticket sales for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 live on Turkish television.
Now coaching Turkish Super League side Kayserispor, Prosinecki burst into the limelight with the Yugoslavia side of 1987, winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile, and being awarded the adidas Golden Ball for the player of the tournament. Alongside him in that team were the likes of Zvonimir Boban, Davor Suker, Predrag Mijatovic, Igor Stimac and Robert Jarni, all of whom also used the tournament as a launchpad for stellar individual careers.
Tonight’s launch at the TRT TV Studios was overseen by presenter Yalçın Çetin, who announced a series of ticket packages aimed at achieving the Local Organising Committee’s (LOC) core objective: to pack out every stadium next summer, selling the inventory of over over 840,000 tickets.
Ticket prices for the group games and Round of 16 matches range from 19 TL to 39 TL. For the quarter and semi-final matches, the prices are 29, 39 and 49 TL, whilst for the final, prices range from 35-65 TL. Across 52 matches, the average price of a ticket equates to just USD 14, and to encourage early sales, as well as group bookings, the LOC and FIFA have devised a range of different discounts.
For two weeks, until 14 December, VISA card owners will be able to receive a 25 per cent discount. Between 15-31 December, all football fans with a credit card will be able to gain a 20 per cent discount, while a 15 per cent discount will still be available until 24 March 2013, the day before the final draw. For group bookings of 100 tickets or more, a 20 per cent discount will also be in place until 24 March 2013.
Following the official draw that will be made in Istanbul on the evening of 25 March 2013, supporters will also be able to purchase tickets via the box offices at each of the seven host clubs. Full details of how to purchase tickets can be found here.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup kicks off on 21 June 2013, with matches in Istanbul and Kayseri. Kayseri will host the official opening ceremony, while Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Rize and Trabzon are the other host cities.
Did you Know?
Prosinecki represented Yugoslavia at the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™, eventutally losing on penalties to Argentina in the quarter-finals. Eight years later, and following the conflict in the Balkans, Prosinecki once again appeared at the FIFA World Cup, this time wearing the shirt of Croatia. Again his goal-scoring prowess was to the fore, netting the opening goal as Croatia defeated the Netherlands 2-1 to finish third. A brief appearance at Korea/Japan 2002 followed, as his playing career, which took in 12 clubs including spells at both Real Madrid and Barcelona, started to wind down.