McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The U.S. may not be in this year’s World Cup but one North Texas city has a reason to cheer for one of the countries in the final.
With its European designed coastline and stone buildings, Adriatica is a 45-acre replica of a Croatian village right in McKinney.
In fact, the Croatian soccer team visited just three months ago, before anyone expected its World Cup Cinderella story.
“America’s team is obviously the Dallas Cowboys but America’s team right now is Croatia,” says Jeff Blackard, developer of Adriatica.
Blackard created a Croatian inspired neighborhood in McKinney 12 years ago.
He even invited the Croatian soccer team for a visit in March before anyone expect them to march all the way to the World Cup final this weekend.
“The guys on the team are unbelievably humble sweet guys,” says Blackard.
The team enjoyed barbecue in the backyard of a McKinney resident before the attended a Mavericks game.
They won over a lot of new North Texas fans.
“My neighbors on my street everybody’s ready for Croatia this really amazing,” says Ida Salvnic, Croatian-American Collin County Resident.
The 300 people who live in Adriatica feel like they’re in Croatia everyday with its old European architecture right down the the country’s flag etched in bricks.
“Adriatica was built in honor of the people Croatia,” says Blackard.
On Sunday, Adriatica residents will be cheering for a World Cup team they actually got to know during a chance encounter days before its date with destiny.