Cape Town - Croatia striker Eduardo Da Silva acknowledges that playing against Brazil, his country of birth, in the opening fixture of his first World Cup is somewhat bizarre.
Eduardo grew up in Rio de Janeiro but moved to Croatia in the summer of 1999, where he joined the youth structures at Dinamo Zagreb. Croatia is where Eduardo mastered his craft, having made 108 senior appearances for Dinamo Zagreb between 2001-2007. It is also during that period that he took up Croatian citizenship and he has never looked back since.
"Without a doubt this is a little odd, but I see it as a great opportunity too," Eduardo told FIFA.com.
"I could never have imagined this situation: to be Brazilian and have the chance to play in a World Cup in your own country, but in the shirt of another national team," he added.
"And on top of that, just to complicate things, there's the opening match between the two countries. I could never have imagined such a huge coincidence. It'll be a difficult moment for me, I'm sure you understand. If only I had the chance to sing both anthems. I think I am going to feel torn."
Eduardo has missed out on two World Cup opportunities for Croatia, having been injured in 2006 and in 2010 because the national team didn’t qualify for the tournament. This year’s event is the proverbial case of third time lucky for Da Silva and he wants to make the most of it, despite the peculiar circumstances.
"I have missed three major tournaments, because there was (UEFA) Euro 2008 as well, when I was still recovering from injury," explained Eduardo.
"I experienced what it was like to play (at a major competition) at Euro 2012, but your first World Cup is something special," added the Brazilian-born Croatian.
Croatia face hosts Brazil in the opening game of the 2014 Soccer World Cup on Thursday.