Tomhet, Idel Tomhet: Remembering Ivan Turina
We tend to have a habit of talking about a ‘football family;’ a sort of community of fans, journalists, players and coaches who all interact to make our small corner of the world possible. Though we may bicker over rivalries, and obsess over insignificant rumors, we are all nevertheless interconnected. Our successes and moments of joy are shared, just as those moments of pain. This past week, the football family suffered a great loss with the sudden death of AIK goalkeeper, Ivan Turina. Here’s Özgür Kurtoglu, remembering Ivan.
The first time I met him was outside a modest but popular bar called L’Angolo in the posher part of Stockholm. My best friend was DJ-ing that night, probably a mix of mild house and odd techno tunes, and the bar was in the same building, just a few floors down from the Croatian Embassy. Outside the embassy, in a corner of the bar, sat Goran Ljubojević and Ivan Turina, new signings to a team on the brink of implosion and relegation on the heels of a treble-winning season. Six months later, Goran left, tearing up his contract in mutual consent, saying “I’m sorry I couldn’t help you with more goals, but I can help by not taking your money when I leave.” And Ivan, well, Ivan stayed. I haphazardly thanked them both that night for coming to our rescue with an embarrassed laugh. They laughed in return, thanked me for the support, and Ivan went back to drinking his wine (as Croatians do) and smoking his cigar.