A different view of the day before the match at Ljudski vrt. After the usual regular training on the main football pitch, the last invitation to attend the match at the press conference was followed by the club's celebration. The star of the day: Marcos Tavares.
When the captain signs the new contract, we can talk about a new milestone. Tavares has been with us since 2008 and will continue to play for us for (at least) two more years under the new contract.
"Before the big match, we have another big event coming up. Our captain – who we all know has had several lives and who is the source of our great successes – signed a contract and proved his loyalty for two more years, i.e. until 2021. I can say this was just a formality and we could have signed the contract for a longer period, since it seems that Marcos is indestructible. This kind of signature provides recognisability and a broader dimension to the club, since a lot has been revolving around our captain in recent years. We are proud of this and it is also our way of showing our respect to him. Marcos is an idol, not just ours, but also of our fans. We have to respect that and draw a number of conclusions from this move," Zlatko ZahoviŤ, the club's sports director, presented the new extension of the contract with the long-term captain.
There were no second thoughts on either side. After ten years of playing in the purple football uniform, Marcos Tavares was just as motivated to continue his life in the purple world as on the first day.
"I am very happy and this is a great honour for me. I would like to thank the sports director and everybody in the club for their trust. I have been playing for this club for ten years and I remember signing the first contract very well. I would have never thought that I would stay for so long in this club. I am proud to be here and that we will continue to write this story we started ten years ago. I believe this is not the last extension of my contract for this club (laughs). Maribor has changed my life. Maribor is now my life. My family feels great here and we intend to live here even after the end of my sports career. I would like to help this club and reciprocate to the Violas and all of the fans for their support. I will do everything I can for this club to be successful in the future as well. But first we have to win on Thursday; this is our first goal."
The celebratory signing of the contract has an additional dimension: for his long-term loyalty to the club, the captain received a gift from the most loyal fans at the press conference: a memorial photograph in front of the south stand.