Article about Maccabi Tel Aviv rival Breidablik/Sport1
One night, when Damir Mominović was three years old, his father left the family home in Začar in eastern Serbia and never returned. For seven years, Damir and his mother remained in a town near the Bulgarian border, until they received a signal from Boban Ristich. The Serbian attacking player, his mother's brother and Demir's uncle who was already 10 years old, established himself in the Icelandic team Stjarnen, took care of the paperwork and invited them to move in with him.
"The difficulty was great. "After two weeks in Iceland, I just screamed and cried that I wanted to go home, to Serbia. We arrived in the summer and I remember I couldn't sleep because it was light until the middle of the night and I didn't understand what was going on. I hadn't heard anything about Iceland before, I couldn't get used to it."
Damir's mother was the sole breadwinner and life in Iceland is very expensive. She worked three jobs and later met a local man who became her partner. The house was left empty while the mother worked and her son trained with the HK youth team, which was better. Because when everyone was home, there was an atmosphere of terror.
Mominovich for Breidblick (green)/Getty Images, Thomas Pichler
"About two years after my mother and her partner met, he moved in with us," Demir recalls, "I think I was 15 when I first encountered his violence. I didn't know what to do in that situation, it was hard, he attacked my mother on a regular basis and I didn't speak. He hurt me too. I never complained to the police because I was afraid it would only make him angry and make things worse."
Mominovich added: "I think until I was 20 I didn't talk to my mother about it at all. She just worked hard to make me have a good life, and didn't want to talk about negative things. Then at the age of 20 we talked and I felt I had to deal with this issue. There was a confrontation between him and him at home, and there the violence stopped. They stayed together, but I never spoke to him again. Every time I came to visit my mother, I ignored him."
In the meantime, Mominović was trying to establish himself as a legitimate footballer in the Icelandic league, but the scars from a shaky childhood – certainly compared to that of many of his friends – stood in the way and he was just looking for an outlet. In an interview a few years ago, he said: "I was hanging out with friends who just wanted to party, so I wasn't really focused on football either. Instead of investing in training and preparing for the next game, I preferred to go out to the bar for a drink. My mother worked three jobs and financed me, and I enjoyed life without giving anything back."
It wasn't until 2014, when Damir was 24, that he got on the right track. After being relegated over Vikingor Olafsvik, Breidablik's coach, Olaf Kristiansson, agreed to give him a chance and he has been there ever since. In the first two years, he still managed to zigzag between abysmal seriousness and recreation and unsportsmanlike life, but since then he has straightened up.
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"Brother, sister, uncles, grandparents, whoever ... Tell! No child should have to live like this." Mominovich/GettyImages, Jonathan Moscrop
The match against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Bloomfield (Thursday, 22:00, Sport3) will be Damir Mominovic's 309th for Breidblick and he ranks third in its history in this category, rising to second place by the end of the season. More than a year and a half ago, at the age of 32, he received another stamp of his late blossoming when he was first called up to the Icelandic national team.
In recent years, Mominovich completely abandoned the party life and became a leading actor and a prominent figure in Breidablik. At the same time, he serves as a sought-after interviewee and spokesman in the fight against domestic violence. Despite the pain of his mother's death in 2017, it seems a little easier for him to talk about it now. Just a little.
In 2020, he said: "Even today, after 10 years, it's very hard for me to talk about it. I don't know when it all began, but today I can say that I experienced terrible domestic violence, and I didn't know how to cope. I encourage young boys to talk, to tell. It doesn't have to be the police... Brother, sister, uncles, grandparents, whoever ... Tell! No child should have to live like this."
- More on the subject:
- Domestic violence
- Maccabi Tel Aviv Football