Rangers left-back Borna Barisic’s friendship with Celtic pair Jozo Simunovic and Filip Benkovic was today revealed.

Barisic and Benkovic both signed for their respective clubs in the summer – albeit Benkovic’s deal is just a loan. Simunovic, of course, has been here for three-and-a-half years now.

The trio know each other from their playing days in Croatia, and appear to have remained good friends ever since.

Jozo Simunovic has now been in Scotland for three-and-a-half years (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And speaking to Sportske Novosti today, Barisic opened up on his relationship with Celtic’s Balkan Brutes.

“I’m with Nikola Katic every day and I sometimes go for lunch or dinner with Jozo Simunovic and Filip Benkovic.

“And on Sunday, we go to Mass at 9pm to pray in the Catholic Church.”

Clubs’ bitterness with each other doesn’t concern Croats

It’s great to see that the four of these men haven’t been drawn into the tribal feeling that can engulf many in Glasgow. Such is the nature of the rivalry here, some can take it just a bit too personal at times.

But Barisic, Katic, Benkovic, and Simunovic clearly all have a bond with each other. Being four Croats on foreign land seems to have brought them together, and at a time when the bitterness between Celtic and Rangers is at an all-time high, this is positive to see.

Borna Barisic is good friends with Celtic’s Croatian duo (Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

It’s important to see certain players draw the line at football when it comes to this rivalry. We all know how deep the roots go when it comes to Celtic and Rangers, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t concern players such as this quartet.

At a time when Rangers in particular are reducing Celtic’s capacity and trying to demean their achievements, it’s important for the players to step back at times and not be overtaken by the tribal warfare this city has had over the decades.

It’s difficult to deny that there’s a small portion of supporters in Glasgow that don’t want us being friends with them. Some take it that personally. But for those people who are that venomous – it’s time to grow up.

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