The PR agent of Inter striker Edin Dzeko has defended him in no uncertain terms after he came in for some criticism in Bosnian media for eating lunch with friends on his day off.
Writing in a post on his Facebook page, via FCInterNews, the 36-year-old’s PR agent Jasmin Ligata firmly rebuked the suggestion that there was anything disrespectful about the decision to enjoy the day off by the striker.
Dzeko, who is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s captain and all-time leading scorer and appearance-maker, saw his national team fall to a surprise 1-0 defeat at the hands of Georgia on Friday.
This was the latest setback in a run of poor results which has been seen particularly in Bosnian media as underperformance by the team.
Bosnia and Herzegovina have already failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup after losing a decisive final group match against Ukraine.
The players in the squad were given a day off to rest and enjoy themselves ahead of their friendly against Luxembourg, and the Nerazzurri man chose to enjoy lunch in a cafe with friends, of which a photo was posted on social media.
Some criticism was directed at Dzeko for enjoying his time off amid poor results with the national team, but Ligata dismissed this as absurd and noted that he has happily responded to the call-up from the Bosnian national team and left his club side during the break.
“Don’t let this nonsense get overblown,” Ligata writes. “I’m not defending anyone, nor do I have to defend anyone because there is nothing to defend here.”
She continues that “All the players had a day off, including Edin who sat in a bar to have a coffee in broad daylight. In everyday clothes because, as I wrote, he had some free time at his disposal like all his compatriots.”
“He didn’t decide to leave the team retreat, nor did he hide, nor was this at midnight. We all have responsibility with regards to the poor results of the national team, but Edin is the last one to whom criticism should be addressed.”
She notes that “He is fighting for the Scudetto in Italy and the coach [Inzaghi] insists every day for him to return [to Milan] to be with the team, instead he stays with his teammates because that’s what real captains do.”
“OI don’t write this as someone’s PR agent, although I know some will take it that way, but as a person who thinks for myself,” she adds.
Ligata concludes that “On his day off, a man eats and drinks in a bar with his friends. Hey look, he’s eating! A man eats on a day off, he does not hide. Why on earth is this news?!?!”