EUSA Insider:

Antonio Zupan

Age:                   26
Place of Birth:  Zadar, Croatia
University:        University of Split (CRO)
Sport:                Football                                                                                             Published 7 May 2019

How and why did you get involved in Football?

As a child I used to play with a football all the time. I would kick a ball everywhere: on the playground, on the street and even in the house. I couldn't stop doing that and the only solution was to hide the ball from me. When I was seven my father signed me up to a football academy. There was never any doubt about which sport I wanted to do and since then I play football and enjoy the benefits of that sport.

What do you study, and how do you balance your study, training and competition?
I am student at the University of Split, in the Faculty of Kinesiology – in esence this is a Faculty of Sport where we are educated to become professors of physical education in primary or secondary schools. Honestly, it's not easy to balance and, at the same time, try to be great in everything, so I decided to quit playing for my club and now I only play for my university. It has proven to be a great decision for me personally: in my two years playing for the University of Split football team, we won two national championships and one European gold. It is a wonderfull feeling when you achieve such results and it is possible to do both things.

Antonio Zupan

Tell us about your experiences at the European Universities Games 2018. Was it your first time at a EUSA event, and what did you enjoy the most?
My first EUSA event was in 2017 in Split, but as volunteer. It was also great feeling, but different than as an athlete. Being part of the European University Games 2018 was like being in a little Olympic Games. There were such a great emotions mixed with tension, adrenaline, excitement, happiness and peace... I really enjoyed the competiton. It was great to play against teams from all over Europe and we already have some rivals! We came there with no expectations, but while the tournament went on, our ambitions grew. We took it step by step until the great success – first place!

“Being part of the European University Games 2018 was like being in a little Olympic Games.”

Why do you think taking part in university sport is important?

Generally, doing sport has a lot of benefits. Whie taking part in university sport, you have the chance to play at a good level and at the same time make academic progress. Doing both things allows you to grow in two such beneficial fields for your personality.

Antonio Zupan 3

In 2019 the European Universities Football Championships will take place in Madrid, Spain. Do you hope to be there, and if so, how have your preparations been, and what do you hope to achieve?
We already qualified for the next European Universities Championships in Madrid. It is a privilege to play football in such a great European and football city. This time we won't hide our ambitions as we are going there to defend our European gold medal. It was such a great feeling to wear the gold medal around our necks and we want to feel that again. Preparations are going good, and we are trying out some new players and improving our tactics. One month before the EUC we have our national football championships which will be a good test for us.

What is your favourite university sport moment?
Without a doubt, winning the gold medal at the European Universities Games at Coimbra 2018!

Antonio Zupan 1

What is your message to European student-athletes like yourself?
Play for fun, play for your health and complete your academic obligations as well. It can be done together and the rewards are remarkable.

EUSA would like to congratulate Antonio and his team for their success last year and we hope to see him very soon, at the European Universities Championships 2019!