SBS host Lucy Zelic has let emotion get the better of her on national television as she spoke about her family’s homeland Croatia playing their first World Cup final.
Proudly a sporting a Croatian jersey in honour of her heritage during the pre-match coverage with SBS co-host and former Socceroo Craig Foster, the usually composed Zelic choked back tears while discussing the adversities the country has overcome since gaining independence from Yugloslavia in 1991.
Croatia booked their World Cup final showdown against France following a heart-stopping extra-time win against England.
SBS host Lucy Zelic choked back tears on live television in the pre-match build up to Croatia’s World Cup final showdown against France
Lucy Zelic got a photo with Swedish playerZlatan Ibrahimović while covering the World Cup
‘They’ve used that adversity to channel it, it’s deeply ingrained in their DNA and their culture and it’s also the rhetoric that comes out from (coach Zlatko) Dalic, from the players,’ Zelic said.
Zelic then momentarily lost her composure while reading out a quote from star Ivan Rakitic in lead up to the final.
‘I’m sorry, this is the line (from Rakitic) that got me,’ she said while wiping away tears.
‘If there was a stadium big enough for 4.5 million people it would be full,’ and I’m sorry, apologies (for crying). It’s a really big deal for the Croatians, for the players and what it means to us.’
The heartwarming moment divided fans on social media.
One viewer praised the presenter, urging her not to apologise for her emotions.
‘You created TV magic tonight. That was one of the most genuine and heartfelt TV moments I’ve ever seen,’ they said.
While some commended Zelic, others slammed her for injecting her own emotions into the broadcast.
One woman slammed it as ‘nauseating in the extreme’.
SBS Host Lucy Zelic has been in Russia for the last five weeks covering the World Cup. She posted this photo from a Guns & Roses concert there earlier this week
‘Bring back Les Murray and Johnny Warren so we wouldn’t have to watch these two,’ one critic posted.
Another person blasted the coverage as nothing more than a ‘soap opera’.
‘It was hilarious with Craig Foster and Lucy Zelic acting so dramatic,’ they said.
Another commended the presenter, saying: ‘Got to love a girl proud of her heritage! You cry all you want Lucy.’
Her parents migrated to Australia 50 years ago and is the sister of former Australian Socceroos Ned and Stan Zelic.
On Saturday, Zelic posted a video on Instagram of Croatian fans in Russia celebrating their World Cup final berth.
Lucy Zelic and the SBS crew in Russia earlier this month, celebrating the news that remaining games at the World Cup would be live and free on SBS
‘I’ve been in Russia for five weeks now and missed my loved ones terribly but when I heard the Croatian anthem being sung on my way back to the hotel, I instantly felt right at home,’ she posted.
‘It still hasn’t sunk in yet that they’ve achieved this remarkable feat. On the night they qualified, I phoned my mum and dad and we were all in tears. To hear the sheer excitement in my father’s voice is something I will never forget.’