As Serbian hearts soared with their historic victory over Germany at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Friday, none could be feeling the love more than Nikola Fenjac who used the special moment to propose on Serbian television to his girlfriend in Novi Sad, just north of Belgrade.
“I had this idea in the back of my mind, but I didn’t know if I could pull it off,” said Fenjac. “Then the Serbian national broadcaster pulled some strings and filmed me in the crowd with the ring.”
“I just mouthed the words ‘I love you and want to marry you’,” said the 30-year-old software developer.
Fenjac still has no idea if his would-be fiance saw the footage, and the beautiful ring, but said he would soon find out after the game. “After Serbia’s win today, who could say no? I think it’ll definitely be a yes,” said Fenjac.
Fenjac and his cousin, Aleksander Paunic, planned the proposal when they arrived in South Africa on 12 June. “I live in America and we haven’t seen each other in two years, so we decided six months ago to come to the World Cup to see each other and share our mutual love of football,” said Paunic, 33. “And we managed to tie that up with Nikola’s love for his girlfriend – so the love is all around today.”
Other Serbian supporters were revelling in the top performance of their team. “We got here minutes before kick-off and since then the excitement has rocketed,” said Vladimir Kocic who travelled 20-hours on a bus from Tshwane/Pretoria to get to the game. “I’ve never been to Port Elizabeth before and it’s amazing, I’m in love with the stadium. I feel so lucky that I get to be a part of this once in a lifetime experience.”
His brother Aleksander, a semi-professional football player, said this was the best stadium he had seen so far. “It’s the perfect soccer stadium – and it’s even more perfect now that we beat Germany.”
In one of the most exciting matches yet in Nelson Mandela Bay, Serbia scored early against Germany and managed to defend their goal for the rest of the match, taking the game at 1-0.