Thursday, 10 March 2022

Darijo Srna Bringing 33 Shakhtar Donetsk Cadets to Kaštel Lukšić

March 10, 2022 - Former Croatia captain and current Shakhtar Donetsk director of football is bringing 33 Shakhtar Donetsk cadets to Kastel Lukšić.

A group of 33 children from Ukraine, namely young Shakhtar Donetsk footballers, will be accommodated in the branch of the Children's Home Maestral in Kaštel Lukšić with the mediation of former Croatia footballer and captain Darijo Srna. Recall, Srna played for Shakhtar and wore the captain's armband from 2003-2018, and now acts as the director of football at the club, reports

"During the day, we expect the arrival of these children from Ukraine, which will be located in our branch 'Miljenko and Dobrila' in Kastel Lukšić, and Darijo Srna will mediate their arrival in Croatia," said Jelena Burazin, director of the Maestral Children's Home in Split.

According to Burazin, the management of that Home received an inquiry for the accommodation of this group of children from Ukraine, and a decision was made to place them in the branch of that Home in Kaštel Lukšić.

At the request of former Vatreni captain and long-time Shakhtar player and former Dinamo player Darijo Zahora, the young Ukrainians left the recently war-torn Ukraine, and Dinamo Zagreb sent buses to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.

Dalmatinski Portal reports that at the same time, classes at Zlatna Vrata (Golden Gate) will be organized for adult Ukrainians. Considering that so far they have mostly come to Dalmatia in private arrangements, through friendships or nurturing relationships as long-term guests, it is not known exactly how many of them are in Split, the hinterland, and the islands. It is estimated that there are at least 500. 

The director of Zlatna Vrata, Danijela Ćukušić, is preparing the program, depending on those interested. However, it is likely that an online program will also be offered as many Ukrainians have found happiness on Šolta Island and are not in Split. 

"What I want to emphasize on this occasion is that we invite all children to join us, for free of course, at the Academic Handball Club Split. Our door is open to them. Sport is one of the best ways to assimilate, to get through these difficult moments as easily as possible," says Ćukušić.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 25 February 2022

Darijo Srna in Ukraine: "This is Our Second Country, Third War in My Life"

February 25, 2022 - RTL Danas spoke to former Croatia national team captain and current Shakhtar Donetsk sports director Darijo Srna in Ukraine. 

RTL reporter Leona Šiljeg appeared live on RTL Danas with Darijo Srna on Thursday, the former Croatia national team captain and current Shakhtar Donetsk sports director, where he also wore the captain's armband as a player for years. 

Shakhtar has not played in Donetsk after the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2014, and since 2020 they have been in Kyiv. 

"It was certainly not pleasant; I was awakened by the sound of a siren around 4:30 in the morning. The situation is not very good, but we gathered with many Croats, we stick together, we are in touch with the embassy, and we are waiting for further instructions," Srna said for RTL Danas.

"We are currently in a hotel, the entire professional staff. Knowing myself, I have always been first in line. There is no chance of me leaving this ship first. This is our second country; we will do our best to be peaceful and not spread panic. I want to thank all the people who send messages and call."

Srna has always emphasized that Ukraine is his second home and says that it is difficult for him to see the current situation in Ukraine, which has been unthinkable for him until today.

"I couldn't imagine that we would find ourselves in this situation. This is the third war in my life. We have to be strong; we have no other choice. Now it's all about Ukraine; the situation is not good," said Srna, commenting on experiencing the Homeland War and the Crimean War, which moved Shakhtar from Donetsk. 

The former national team defender revealed that he is in constant contact with another former Vatreni member, Ognjen Vukojević, the assistant coach of Dinamo Kyiv.

"We hear from each other every 20 minutes, and today we were even thinking of going on our own, but that is a big risk. I repeat, we have no choice but to be calm and not spread panic. We were supposed to start the championship on Saturday; everything was disrupted by what happened last night," the former Croatia captain concluded.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Darijo Srna for Mojih TOP 11: Former Croatia Captain Opens Up in Emotional Video Interview

February 6, 2021 - Darijo Srna for Mojih TOP 11: The former Croatia captain opens up about Hajduk, rejecting Barcelona, and missing out on the 2018 World Cup silver. 

Darijo Srna said goodbye to football in the summer of 2019, leaving behind 10 Ukrainian championship titles, and countless matches for Croatia, Hajduk, Shakhtar, and Cagliari, as well as many unforgettable moments on the pitch. 

In an emotional interview with Mojih TOP 11, a show hosted by Serbian journalist Nebojsa Petrovic, the former Croatia national team captain revealed some never-before-known details.


"Hajduk is my soul, and it hurts me when I see what is happening to the club."

In the beginning, Srna emphasized his love for Hajduk, his favorite club.

"Hajduk is my soul, my heart. It is the biggest club in our area for me. It hurts me when I see what is happening with Hajduk, but we fans will never lose faith in Hajduk. It is our love. We were born with it. I will die as part of that family for five or six years. I won the Hajduk Heart trophy from the fans, which is the most valuable trophy for me, along with the one I received from the Croatia National Team's Fan Club, 'Forever Faithful.' I remember my debut. I came in when we were losing 1-0, forced a foul, and Leko scored for 1-1. Later I went out against Piplica one on one. I missed, and then there was a break in the game. Torcida stormed the field, and we slept in the stadium for two or three days. That was my debut," Srna said.

"I turned down Barcelona; I'm saying this for the first time."
He revealed to Petrovic that he rejected Barcelona. It has been written about before, but Srna never publicly admitted that he rejected the Catalan giant four years ago.

"I rejected Barcelona, and when you reject it, then there are no more conversations. This is the first time I have publicly admitted that I rejected Barcelona at the age of 34. It was decided by the heart. At the time, Shakhtar was at war. We had been in Kyiv for two years. I felt I would let the fans down even though the president said he would respect any of my decisions. The heart said, 'No.' I'm not sorry," said the former Croatia captain.

Srna points out that his dream was to play for Croatia and that it is not his fault that Luka Modrić will almost certainly overtake him in the number of caps for the national team. Srna is the record holder with 134 appearances, and Modrić has one less.

"I was both happy and sad about the silver medal in Russia."
"When you are born where I was born, you have two wishes - to play for Hajduk and the Croatia national team. For us, the Croatia national team is everything. I would change all my club trophies if I were with them in Russia. Our love and our common strength mean so much. They asked me if I was sorry that Luka would overtake me in the number of caps. I said: 'Well, my people, children dream of playing one game with their hand over the coat of arms, listening to their anthem, and I was the happiest man in the world 134 times.' There is no better moment in football. I was still happy to be the captain of my national team over 60 times, to be first in line with all my teammates. That meant the world to me," said Srna.

Fate led Srna to the national team two years after they won the bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup in France and said goodbye two years before the silver medal at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He is both happy and sad.

"I was happy as a little kid but also unhappy that I wasn't there. Looking at the bronze medal from 1998 ... I came to the national team in 2000 and left in 2016. The silver was in 2018. I was two years late. I'm not sorry. I consider myself part of that family," Srna said.

"I promised my father I would play"
It will always be remembered that Srna played against the Czech Republic at Euro 2016, just five days after his father passed away.

"I gathered my courage and promised my father that I would play in the European Championship," Srna revealed.

The former captain also spoke about the current captain of Croatia, Luka Modrić, who he considers to be the best footballer in the history of this area.

"Modrić is a phenomenon."
"'Phenomenon.' And that nickname says more than a thousand words. I claim that he is the greatest player of all time in our area. I mean the whole region. On a par with Deja Savićević, Piksi Stojković, Davor Šuker. Kudos to everyone, but Luka is number one. That head, that character. Winner of the Golden Ball, three-time Champions League winner, second with Croatia at the World Cup. I tip my hat to him," Srna said.

Srna also touched on Marijo Mandžukić, who he says is a fighter unlike anyone else he's met.

"If he weren't like that, he wouldn't have made a career. He is a fighter who doesn't bend for anyone, not even two percent. Don't touch him on match day," Srna said.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.  

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Darijo Srna Proud: Shakhtar Donetsk Donates EUR 50,000 to Petrinja Earthquake Victims

February 4, 2021 - Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk, led by President Rinat Ahmetov, has donated EUR 50,000 to help victims of the devastating earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County and other affected areas.

HRT reports that Ukraine and Croatia have been friendly and fraternal countries with good relations for many years. One of the notable and colorful symbols that unite these countries is the longtime captain of the Croatia national football team and the most popular Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk - Darijo Srna.

After a devastating earthquake hit Croatia in December, the Ukrainian club could not stand by and not support the home country of its legendary player, Shakhtar said.

Thus, the club donated EUR 50,000 to the Croatian State Budget account opened in the action titled "Assistance for reconstruction after the earthquake". The donation is intended to rehabilitate the cities of Petrinja, Sisak, and Glina and other cities and municipalities affected by the devastating earthquakes.

"My life is in two countries - Croatia, my home country, and Ukraine. I was the captain of the Croatia national team and the captain of Shakhtar. I am delighted by the act of the president of our club, who donated to the Croats to help rebuild homes because Croatia is in a difficult situation because of the earthquakes. Many people were left homeless, people were killed, and we know what it means to lose a home. I know because the president of the club has helped many in Ukraine and will always help. It is not easy because they are in a difficult situation, and they are helping Croatia. I thank him for that. It was not my idea, but the club's initiative, and I can only say a huge thank you and that the Croats will never forget it," said the legendary captain of Croatia and Shakhtar, and now the sports director of the Ukrainian club.

Darijo Srna became the sports director of Shakhtar in June 2020, where he spent 15 seasons as a player, recording 536 appearances and 49 goals. He wore the Shakhtar captain's armband for many years and is the most popular foreign player in its history. He won a total of 26 trophies, of which the most valuable is the Uefa Cup, and won ten Ukrainian championship titles, seven Ukrainian Cups, and eight Super Cups.

Shakhtar Donetsk has been in exile due to militant actions since May 2014, when they have not been able to play at their home stadium, the beautiful Donbass Arena. The once magnificent football stadium was severely damaged in several rocket attacks, and the inside was completely devastated. Currently, Donbass Arena is home to a humanitarian organization that helps the hungry and poor in Donetsk with food and goods.

To read more about the Petrinja Earthquake, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Croatian Footballer Darijo Srna Donated to Croatian Hospitals

December 1, 2020 – Former captain of the Croatia national football team Darijo Srna and the company Enna Fruit organized the delivery of mandarins to six Croatian hospitals.

As 24sata reports, former Croatia football player Darijo Srna (38) donated 15 tons of mandarins to hospitals in Zagreb, Split, and Osijek. In cooperation with the company ENNA Fruit, which organized the delivery of fruit, Srna delighted patients and staff, which was confirmed from the hospital in Split.

In addition to Srna's donation, the company ENNA Fruit also donated two integral disinfection systems that will be used in the hospital in the Zagreb Arena.

"In challenging times, when we are all facing the COVID crisis, it is important, within our capabilities, to be supportive of those who need it most," said Darijo Srna on the occasion of this humanitarian donation, which, as he says, went to the right hands – in KBC Sestre milosrdnice, KBC Dubrava, KBC Rebro, Clinic for Children's Diseases in Zagreb and KBC Split and KBC Osijek.

"Integral disinfection system is an advanced device for measuring body temperature, disinfection of hands, and footwear with the help of a disinfection mat. This device will provide healthcare workers, doctors, and nurses with a safer stay in the hospital and facilitate the daily fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19 disease," they said from the ENNA Fruit company as reported by

Darijo Srna has long been known for humanitarian actions, such as the one in 2014 when he bought 20 tons of mandarins, paid for transportation, and donated them to children in Donetsk who were affected by the horrors of war.

"I'm not doing this to have someone say to me: 'Well done, Dario.' This is from the heart and soul of all citizens of Donetsk," said Darijo Srna then.

 To read more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Darijo Srna First Individual in Ukraine to Test Publicly for Coronavirus

April 4, 2020 - Former captain of the Croatia national football team, and currently Shakhtar's assistant coach, Darijo Srna, revealed in an Instagram interview to fans of the Ukrainian giant that he was tested for the coronavirus, was writing a biography, and why he had refused a spot on the Barcelona squad.

“I was tested for coronavirus this morning and the test was negative. Our dear President Rinat Ahmetov donated 300,000 tests to Ukraine, and I chose to be the first one publicly tested. I am not worried because my discipline is high, and it is the best tactic in fighting the coronavirus,” Srna said on HRT.

He added that this situation is proof that we should live, love, appreciate, and respect each other, adding that the whole world should be stronger once we come out of the coronavirus crisis.

“You don't know what can happen tomorrow. We all have one life and we should live it to the fullest. We have our family: we should love, appreciate, respect each other. We currently spend more time with our loved ones, and are paying attention to things we never noticed. We should look at it positively. I'm sure the whole world will be stronger once we get out of this situation. People should be better than they used to be.”

Srna emphasized that the Shakhtar team is training individually and each player has their own program.

“I am sure that every Shakhtar player is training individually, even without the program we have prepared. If the Ukrainian league were to continue in three days, I'm sure our team would be physically fit.”

View this post on Instagram

Дарио Срна сдал тест на коронавирус. Результат – отрицательный ⠀ Фонд Рината Ахметова @akhmetovfoundation передал Министерству здравоохранения Украины 300 000 экспресс-тестов для диагностирования COVID-19. Это вклад президента «Шахтера» в Стабилизационный фонд, созданный Президентом Украины для борьбы с коронавирусом. ⠀ Первое публичное тестирование на коронавирус согласился пройти легендарный экс-капитан, а ныне ассистент главного тренера «Шахтера» @darijosrna. Результат – коронавирус не обнаружен. ⠀ Дарио призвал всех украинцев строго соблюдать карантин. ⠀ Дарійо Срна здав тест на коронавірус. Результат – негативний ⠀ Фонд Ріната Ахметова @akhmetovfoundation передав Міністерству охорони здоров’я України 300 000 експрес-тестів для діагностування COVID-19. Це внесок президента «Шахтаря» до Стабілізаційного фонду, створеного Президентом України для боротьби з коронавірусом. ⠀ Перше публічне тестування на коронавірус зголосився пройти легендарний екскапітан, а нині асистент головного тренера «Шахтаря» @darijosrna. Результат – коронавірус не виявлено. ⠀ Дарійо закликав усіх українців строго дотримуватись карантину. ⠀ Darijo Srna tested negative for the coronavirus ⠀ The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation @akhmetovfoundation gave 300,000 rapid tests for COVID-19 to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. This is the contribution of the Shakhtar president to the stabilization fund initiated by the President of Ukraine for tackling the coronavirus. ⠀ The legendary Shakhtar captain and current assistant manager @darijosrna is the first individual to have agreed to get tested for the coronavirus publicly. The test gave a negative result. ⠀ Darijo has urged all Ukrainians to strictly observe the quarantine. ⠀ #Україна #Ukraine #Украина #UA #UKR #football #футбол #карантин #Донецьк #Donetsk #Донецк #Киев #Kyiv #Київ #Харків #Kharkiv #Харьков #stayhome #stayathome #stayhealthy #staystrong #УкраїнаВдома #Ukraineathome #УкраинаДома #supporterofeachother #коронавирус

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Srna concluded his playing career in June last year. Does he regret it?

“In this situation, I have to suppress my ego per the current situation. I am now a former footballer and will no longer play football at a professional level. I am happy to help coach Luis Castro, Shakhtar players and fans with my experience and knowledge.”

He is confident that the club will one day return to his Donetsk.

“I’m sure we will return to Donetsk one day. I want to play my last game in a Shakhtar shirt at Donbass Arena. Sometimes I make a list for myself of the players I would like to invite. And believe me, it would be a football festival for Ukraine, Europe and the whole world. It will be a really serious team, not just those who played with me in Shakhtar,” he revealed.

He also admitted that he started writing a biography.

“It will be very interesting, because I have described some things that no one knows. Perhaps with the help of this book, people will get to know Darijo’s other side.”

He stressed that he appreciated honesty.

“That's my most important quality. I don't need anything else. If a person is honest with me, we might think of something; and if not, there will be no long way.”

He also revealed why in January 2017, he rejected the offer of the Spanish giant Barcelona. For months, the Catalans had been looking for a right-back player because they were not happy with Aleix Vidal, and Shakhtar's captain was their first wish.

“I decided with my heart. I couldn't leave Shakhtar. It was a time of war. I didn't want people to think that I was leaving the club because we were no longer in Donetsk. I felt this was an important moment in our life - the life of Shakhtar and Donbass. I know how much I was respected and loved in Donetsk and how much I loved it... I just couldn't afford to offend or disappoint people. I do not regret my decision saying no to Barcelona. I stayed at Shakhtar because my heart decided to, this is it,” concluded the legendary Croatian footballer.

Srna played for Shakhtar from 2003 to 2018 and achieved a record 536 caps, with 49 goals and 26 trophies won, including ten championship titles, seven Ukrainian cups, eight super cups and one Uefa Cup. During his playing career, he performed for GOŠK, Hajduk, Shakhtar and Cagliari.

Srna is also the record holder in terms of appearances for Croatia (134), wearing the captain's belt 68 times and scoring 22 goals for the Vatreni.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Luka Modrić Invites Darijo Srna Back to National Team?

According to Croatian media reports, Luka Modrić has invited Darijo Srna back to the national team.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Darijo Srna Opens Up For First Time About Doping Scandal, World Cup Success

Darijo Srna spoke for the first time about his doping scandal and being without football for a year. 

Monday, 27 August 2018

Big Weekend for Croatian Footballers: Goals, Assists, and Debuts All Over Europe

Croatia’s best footballers shined all over Europe over the weekend. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Former Croatia Captain Darijo Srna Sends Powerful Message to Team Ahead of Semi-final

“Let us dream together a little bit longer."

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