CroatianSports.com caught up with 18 year-old Croatia U21/Liefering striker, Roko Šimić, this week for a Q&A over Instagram. Roko is the son of Croatian football legend, Dario Šimić, who is one of only nine Croatia players all-time to be capped 100 times. Roko has been on an absolute tear the past six matches; scoring 10 goals in that span and cementing a hat trick vs. the U21 Azerbaijan side earlier this week in Euro qualifying.
CroatianSports: You’ve scored 10 goals in your last six matches for club and country. Where is this goal scoring spree coming from?
Roko Šimić: Thanks to my coaches and staff from my childhood. They made me the goalscorer that I am, but I’m not done yet. I’m only at the beginning.
CroatianSports: Your dad, Dario Šimić, is a Croatian football legend and has been capped by the Vatreni 100 times. What has he taught you growing up in becoming the great player you are so far in your career?
Roko Šimić: To always play with heart! My father has always been here to help me everyday with something new. But it wouldn’t be fair if I shared that information (family secrets) with you right now. 🙂
CroatianSports: Who was your football idol growing up? What are you most looking forward to in your football career?
Roko Šimić: My dad was always my idol from when I was young. My dream is to play for the Croatian national team and I hope one day that dream will come true.
CroatianSports: Who do you play well with most on the U21 team? Why?
Roko Šimić: Lukas Kačavenda. We’ve been friends since we were little kids. (Kačavenda is 18 years old and currently plays midfield for Lokomotiva Zagreb. He has scored three goals in 19 matches this season)
CroatianSports.com: What is your favorite club outside of Croatia?
Roko Šimić: AC Milan! (Roko was born in Milan, Italy in 2003 while his father, Dario, was playing for AC Milan)
CroatianSports.com: Many Croatians around the world – including us – would like you to start as striker for the Malta World Cup qualifier next month in Split. How does that make you feel? What would it mean to be capped by the senior side at age 18?
Roko Šimić: It would be such a great feeling to play for Croatia. I would be so happy. I will keep working hard. If I deserve it, they (the HNS) will recognize it. Like I said, I’m ready!