After the accident, Klara Szalantzy spent seven days in intensive care. She recovered and continued to play basketball, and returned to the photo model business. Three years after Drazen’s death, in 1996, Clara met Oliver Bierhoff, the big elf star.
Relation of Dražen and Klara Szalantzy
The story between Dražen and Klara Szalantzy began only a few months before the tragic event that caused the whole of Croatia to stop. Klara Szalantzy Szalantzy wanted to meet Drazen. It was in his last season at the Nets. Mario Miočić, Dražen’s friend, recounted how the first contact took place. – Klara Szalantzy and her Croatian friend Matija called the secretary of the general manager of the Nets, Willis Reed, to give them Dražen’s phone number. The secretary refused but forwarded their number to Drazen. In such cases, Drazen used to leave tickets for the match and discreetly see who it was.
They were spending time together
We watched who would fill the seats in the seventh row in the hall and saw an average-looking girl, but also one in which the man’s eyes immediately shone from a distance. They went to dinner, and the rest is history – Miocic recounted. She remembered after 18 years, Lijepa Klara Szalantzy, of Hungarian origin, was born in 1970 in Romania.
She was a model and played basketball in Munich. A lot of it pointed to a great romance. But fate wanted otherwise. The day he separated from the rest of the national team in Frankfurt and drove to Munich in Clara’s car. They have told many times the story.
Klara Szalantzy never spoke publicly about her relationship with Drazen. She visited his grave and talked to Aco Petrović. He once in Milan, where her husband was playing, prevented the meeting of his mother Biserka and Klara Szalantzy. He thought Aco would be stressful for his mother. It wasn’t until 2011 that everything became known about Hilal Edebal, the girl who was in the backseat of a red Volkswagen Golf that crashed into a truck on a German highway.
There are days you remember with such precision, no matter how long ago it was. I will never forget Tuesday, June 8, 1993. That morning, the first school lesson on the schedule was math. Did you hear that Drazen Petrovic was killed? – the professor asked the entire class after he called me to examine the material. The shock after which I spoiled my final grade and overall success in high school.
I didn’t realize the full dimension of Drazen’s genius that I realized in the years that followed. It was only later details emerged that his then-girlfriend Klara Szalantzy and her friend Hilal Edebal were in a car near Ingolstadt with Drazen. Oliver comforted her after the accident. Klara Szalantzy spent seven days in intensive care but soon drove again, returned to her job as a photo model in the US, and continued to play basketball in Germany.
Drazen met Oliver Bierhoff
Three years later, on a show, she met Oliver Bierhoff, her current husband. The former German national football team member helped her overcome the shock after the accident, and in 2001, they legalized their relationship in a Bavarian castle by marriage. Six years later, their first daughter was born from that relationship, and in 2010, in the eighth month of her pregnancy, Klara Szalantzy lost her child. Her only brother Ladislav passed away in the same year.
Hilal, their friend
Hilal was 23 at the time and was studying and playing basketball in the United States (Niagara University). After the accident, she was in a coma for eight months with a broken arm and hip bones. She never fully recovered, and the result of the accident was almost complete memory loss. She lost her right to a scholarship, and she tried to kill herself when she wanted to throw herself from the 17th floor.
Life turned into a nightmare – I just wanted to wake up from a nightmare. I thought that when I jumped, I would stop dreaming of this sea – Hilal later told the NY Daily News. Her life turned into a nightmare. I recognized nothing in Munich, the city where I grew up. But, wherever I went, my parents had to bring me back. The doctors told me that my brain would fully recover after six to eight years.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get it – Hilal recounted. Today, 43-year-old Hilal is constantly trying to get back to normal life, but she has had a hard time succeeding. She also tried to work as a translator. But he has problems with short-term memory. – They fire me because I can’t remember the content of the phone conversations or the people I talked to. Thereafter, I forget the messages I should convey – Hilal revealed. A few years ago, she moved to Turkey. She is working as a tour operator.