The Atleti player who saved a journalist’s life

That strange connection was the motto of the spot of the Atlético de Madrid set in the Civil war, more specifically in 1937, in which a soldier released his prisoner after learning that despite being on opposite sides they shared his passion for the mattress club. Something similar happened to the journalist José Antonio Guardiola, special envoy to the Balkan war and who currently directs En Portada de TVE as told in the Marca newspaper.

That day when they returned to Pristine They ran into two civilians injured in a shooting that they decided to rescue. They could transfer them to a hospital to save their lives, and they did not think about it. The problem was that if they were discovered by the Serbian police, they could transfer a war wounded man, and it was difficult to prove otherwise…

“We got to the first Serbian check and fine, but at the second … A soldier came out, started to circle the car, to look everywhere. Where are you going, what for, who is that man, because of the grandfather, who is with you … You can imagine the tension we had. “Open the trunk for me,” he ordered suddenly. And already, super scared, it occurred to me to drop: ‘Milinko Pantic! ’. It was magic. He turned and said: ‘Atlético de Madrid, ‘Dobro’ [se traduce como ‘bueno’]. It completely changed his attitude. Pantic was Serbian, like him, and would be one of his idols. That created a bond between us and we stopped being enemies. We already started to hesitate with the players, what if ‘Mijatovic, no, what is Real Madrid‘What if … And the soldier forgot everything. He didn’t search the car or anything. He even offered us a glass of rakia. If he makes us go down and finds the hidden boy … “, assures Marca Guardiola. And she sighs … Because she feels the relief. “I don’t know what could have happened, I’d rather not think about it,” he concludes.

All of this happened in 1998 just after the emergence of Milinko Pantic in the Atlético de Madrid. The footballer arrived as a stranger and became one of the Vicente Calderón stars. In his first year he won the ‘Doublet’. In total he spent three seasons playing 139 games in which he made 36 goals. A player who has come to prolong the life of an amateur….