Darijo Srna

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Darijo Srna
Darijo Srna2016.jpg
Srna at Shakhtar Donetsk in 2016
Personal information
Full name Darijo Srna[1]
Date of birth (1982-05-01) 1 May 1982 (age 34)
Place of birth Metković, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Playing position Right back
Club information
Current team
Shakhtar Donetsk
Number 33
Youth career
GOŠK Gabela[3]
199?–1999 Neretva Metković
1999 Hajduk Split
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2003 Hajduk Split 64 (4)
2003– Shakhtar Donetsk 319 (33)
National team
1998 Croatia U15 1 (0)
1999–2000 Croatia U17 5 (4)
2000–2001 Croatia U19 7 (3)
2000–2001 Croatia U20 2 (0)
2001–2004 Croatia U21 10 (4)
2002–2016 Croatia 134 (22)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 November 2016.


Darijo Srna (pronounced [dâːrijo sř̩na]; born 1 May 1982) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays for Shakhtar Donetsk, which he captains. He also captained the Croatia national team from 2009 to 2016. He can play all across the right wing and is known for his crossing and free kick ability.[4] He began his career at Hajduk Split, before moving to Shakhtar in 2003. He has won numerous trophies during his time at Shakhtar, including a UEFA Cup title in 2009, seven Ukrainian Premier League titles, five Ukrainian Cup titles and five Ukrainian Super Cup titles. Srna made his international debut for Croatia in November 2002. In 2009, then manager Slaven Bilić made him the captain of the national team, a position he would hold until retirement from international football in 2016.

Srna is the most capped player in the history of the Croatia national team, having represented his country at the 2006 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, as well as at UEFA Euro 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. He is also the most capped player in the history of Shakhtar and is considered to be one of the most legendary players in the club's history,[5] to the extent of being even referred to as the "Icon of Shakhtar".[6][7] While with Shakhtar, Srna had offers from clubs like Chelsea and Bayern Munich, which he declined due to his loyalty to the club.[8]

Club career[edit]

Hajduk Split[edit]

Srna's talent was seen by many scouts in Croatia while he was young. He was later signed by Hajduk Split as his talent became desirable for the Croatian giants.[9] At Hajduk, he won the 1999–2000 and 2002–03 Croatian Cup, as well as the 2000–01 Prva HNL. The club played in the first round of 1999–2000 UEFA Cup, 2001–02 UEFA Cup, 2002–03 UEFA Cup, as well as the second round of the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League and the third round of the 2001–02 UEFA Champions League. He made 84 appearances for the club, including 64 league appearances, and scored eight goals, four of which came in the league, before moving to Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk.

Shakhtar Donetsk[edit]

In 2003, Srna was sold, along with Hajduk goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa, to Shakhtar Donetsk.[10] He is a common member and the captain in his club side, for whom he has made a large impact in the league. In his first season with the club, he made 29 appearances, including 19 in the league, scoring three goals, all of which came in the Ukrainian Cup. He helped the club to win the Ukrainian Cup, his first honour with the club, and to a second-place finish in the Premier League.[11]

In his second season, Shakhtar won the Super Cup and the Premier League.[12] He made 42 appearances for the club, 22 of which came in the league, and netted two goals, once in the league and once in the cup. Srna made his debut in main stage of UEFA Champions League on 14 September 2004 against Milan. His third season saw Shakhtar retain the Premier League title.[13] He made 21 league appearances, scoring twice. After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Benfica were reported to be after the player's signature but nothing materialized, with what many considered a fallen or rejected sale. Since then, he had been linked with a number of other clubs, including Lazio, but a move never materialized.

The following season, Shakhtar were trumped to the Premier League title by Dynamo Kyiv as they failed to achieve any silverware.[14] Darijo made 35 appearances for the club, 20 in the league, and scored four times, three of which came in the league. In the 2007–08 season, Shakhtar picked up the Premier League trophy and were victorious in the Ukrainian Cup Final.[15] He made 41 appearances, 28 of which came in the league.

2008–09 season[edit]

The 2008–09 season saw Shakhtar win the Super Cup and the UEFA Cup. On 15 July 2008, Shakhtar emerged victorious in the Super Cup Final against Dynamo Kyiv. At the end of extra time, the teams were level at 1–1. In the ensuing penalty shoot-out, Shakhtar converted all five of its penalties to win 5–3. Srna, who captained the side, scored one of the penalties.[16] On 3 August, he scored the first goal in a 3–0 victory over Illichivets Mariupol.[17] On 13 August, he scored the first goal in a 2–0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.[18] On 18 October he scored a goal in Shakhtar's 4–2 win against Kryvbas.[19] On 2 March, he scored the winning goal in Shakhtar's 2–1 league victory over Illichivets.[20] On 22 March, he scored the only goal in a league win over Vorskla.[21] In the semi-final of the UEFA Cup, Shakhtar faced Dynamo Kyiv in an all-Ukrainian tie. After a 1–1 away draw in the first leg,[22] Shakhtar won 2–1 at the Donbass Arena for a 3–2 aggregate win to progress to the final.[23] Darijo played the full 90 minutes of both legs. On 20 May 2009, he captained Shakhtar in the 2–1 victory over Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup Final.[24] Srna provided the assist for Jádson's winning goal seven minutes into extra time. He also picked up a yellow card. This was the last UEFA Cup before its rebranding as the UEFA Europa League. Shakhtar finished the Premier League season in second position, 15 points behind champions Dynamo Kyiv.[25] Darijo made 46 appearances and scored 5 goals, with 25 appearances and 4 goals in the league.

Playing for Shakhtar in 2009

2009–10 season[edit]

In the 2009–10 season, Shakhtar regained the Premier League title.[26] On 28 August, he played in Shakhtar's 1–0 extra time loss to Barcelona in the 2009 UEFA Super Cup, picking up a yellow card on 65 minutes.[27] He scored the third goal in a 4–1 away victory over Club Brugge in the Europa League.[28] He scored a goal and picked up a yellow card in a 2–0 Ukrainian Cup victory over Dynamo Kyiv on 28 October.[29] He netted his first league goal of the season in a 2–1 victory against Zorya Luhansk on 20 March.[30] On 3 April, he scored the only goal in a league victory over Obolon.[31] Srna played 39 matches, 26 in the league, and scored four goals, two of which came in the league.

2010–11 season[edit]

The 2010–11 season was extremely successful for Shakhtar as they won the treble (Premier League, Ukrainian Cup and the Super Cup).[32] He played in Shakhtar's 7–1 Super Cup victory over Tavriya Simferopol on 4 July.[33] On 15 September, he netted the only goal, and picked up a yellow card, in a 1–0 Champions League win over Partizan.[34] In the following match, against Tavriya, after going 1–0 down, Srna scored the equaliser in a 4–1 victory.[35] On 30 October, he was sent off in added time against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk as Shakhtar won 1–0.[36] On 1 April, he scored the first goal in a 3–1 victory over Illichivets Mariupol.[37] On 7 May, against Metalurh Donetsk, he scored the second goal in a 2–0 win.[38] On 25 May, he played in the 2–0 Ukrainian Cup Final victory over Dynamo Kyiv, picking up a yellow card.[39] Srna was named in the UEFA Champions League Team of the Year according to player rater (statistics) in the 2010–11 season where Shakhtar lost in the quarter-final to Barcelona. Srna created five assists in five games.[40] He made 39 appearances, 27 of which were in the league, scoring four goals, three of which came in the league.

Srna playing for Shakhtar in 2011

2011–12 season[edit]

Shakhtar won the Premier League and the Ukrainian Cup in the 2011–12 season, Darijo's sixth league title with the club.[41] He scored a goal in first half injury time in a 2–0 away win over Metalurh Donetsk.[42] On 2 December, he scored the first goal in a 5–0 league victory over Arsenal Kyiv at the Donbass Arena.[43] On 16 April, in the 27th gameweek of the season, Srna netted the final goal in a 5–1 victory over Zorya Luhansk.[44] On 6 May, he played in the Ukrainian Cup Final against Metalurh Donetsk in which Shakhtar emerged victorious after an extra time winner from Oleksandr Kucher made it 2–1.[45] This marked Srna's fourth Ukrainian Cup success with Shakhtar. He picked up a yellow card in the final match of the season, a 3–0 victory over Oleksandriya.[46] Shakhtar won the league by four points over Dynamo Kyiv; Srna scored 3 goals in 25 league matches and made a total of 34 appearances in the season.

2012–13 season[edit]

Darijo began the 2012–13 season with an assist for Luiz Adriano in the sixth-minute of Shakhtar's 2–0 Super Cup victory over Metalurh Donetsk.[47] He assisted Ilsinho for the second goal in a 3–1 Premier League win against Hoverla Uzhhorod.[48] He assisted Fernandinho for a 93rd-minute winner against Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih.[49] and added another for Marko Dević in a 4–0 victory against Volyn Lutsk.[50] On 19 August, Srna assisted Willian for the third goal in a 5–1 win against Chornomorets Odesa[51] In the next match, he provided Luiz Adriano with an assist in a 3–0 win over Karpaty Lviv.[52] On 2 September, he assisted Oleksandr Kucher's second goal in a 3–1 victory against Dynamo Kyiv.[53] On 23 September, Srna scored a free-kick in a 4–1 victory over Dynamo Kyiv in the last 32 of the Ukrainian Cup.[54] On 28 September, he scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.[55] He picked up the Man of the Match award for his contribution to win over Dnipro.[56] On 19 October, he assisted Ilsinho for a goal in a 2–1 victory against Illichivets.[57]

On 13 February 2013, Srna netted with an expertly-struck free-kick in the 31st minute in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie with Borussia Dortmund, which ended in a 2–2 draw.[58] At the end of the 2012–13 season in Ukraine, he finished with the most assists, with 12.[59][60]

2013–14 season[edit]

In mid-season, Srna helped Shakhtar win the 2014 United Supercup, a tournament between the top-two placed clubs from Russia and Ukraine, becoming the assists leader[61] and joint top scorer of the tournament.[62] By the end of the season, the club won the Ukraine Premier League and the 2014 Ukrainian Super Cup.

2014–15 season[edit]

In the first game of the season, Srna set a new record of games played for Shakhtar in the Premier League.[63]

2015–16 season[edit]

In the 2015–16 season, Srna played 41 games and scored six goals.[64] Shakhtar announced that their captain had extended his contract for the 2016–17 season, a day after the club celebrated their 80th anniversary.[64]

International career[edit]

Euro 2004[edit]

Srna made his full international debut for the Croatia national team in a friendly match against Romania in November 2002. He went on to score his first international goal on his competitive debut for Croatia in their UEFA Euro 2004 qualifier against Belgium in March 2003, netting the opening goal in Croatia's 4–0 win. He made a total of six appearances in Croatia's qualifying campaign for Euro 2004, including both play-off matches against Slovenia.

At the Euro 2004 finals, he appeared as a substitute in Croatia's group matches against Switzerland and England, before they were knocked out of the tournament in the first round.[10]

2006 World Cup[edit]

After Euro 2004, Srna went on to become one of the key players in Croatia's 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, scoring five goals in nine appearances during the campaign and being the team's top goalscorer in the competition. During the 2006 World Cup qualifying, he scored both goals in Croatia's two 1–0 wins over Sweden, including a long-range free kick in the away fixture in Gothenburg. He also netted both goals in Croatia's 2–2 home draw against Bulgaria, as well as one goal in their 3–1 away win at Iceland.

Srna then starred in all three games of Croatia's 2006 World Cup campaign. He was highly praised and remembered for his spectacular 30-yard free kick which put Croatia ahead against Australia in the infamous "Graham Poll three-yellow card" blunder match that ended 2–2 and saw Croatia exit from the group stage.

In September 2006, Srna was temporarily dropped from the Croatian squad for a Euro 2008 qualifying match with Russia because of a late night partying spree in a local disco, along with teammates Boško Balaban and Ivica Olić.[65]

Srna in action for Croatia in 2013

Euro 2008[edit]

Srna was considered the hero of the match, when he came on as a substitute against Macedonia in a Euro 2008 qualifying match and scored shortly after from a free-kick, which was shot into the right corner of the goal.[66] In the 88th minute, he provided a cross which found teammate Eduardo, and allowed him to score and snatch a late win for Croatia. He also scored Croatia's equaliser in their hard fought away victory against Israel, which eventually ended 4–3 in Croatia's favour. Srna went on to miss a penalty against Estonia, however his overall contribution to teamwork attack compensated for this mistake, which Croatia quickly capitalised on to win 2–0.

Since helping his country qualify for Euro 2008 with a strong qualifying campaign, Srna was unsurprisingly named in their 23-man squad for the current tournament. On 12 June, Srna scored the opening goal in the 24th minute of Croatia's 2–1 victory over Germany in their second game of Group B. He was the only player to score for Croatia in their unsuccessful penalty shootout in the quarter-finals against Turkey. At the conclusion of the match, Srna was seen struggling to hold back an emotional breakdown because of Croatia's strong efforts but eventual defeat.

Euro 2012[edit]

After Euro 2008, Srna succeeded Niko Kovač as national team captain.[67][68]

Srna started in all three games of the 2012 tournament as the captain, where Croatia finished third behind Spain and Italy, failing to qualify to the next stage. Italy and Spain went on to become the finalists of the tournament.

On 6 February 2013, Srna won his 100th cap in a friendly match against South Korea at Craven Cottage, London. During the match, Srna scored his 20th international goal.[69]

2014 World Cup[edit]

Croatia qualified for the 2014 World Cup, where Srna served as team captain for his second official international tournament, after Euro 2012.[70] Croatia finished third in the group behind Brazil and Mexico and therefore failed to qualify for the next stage.

Euro 2016[edit]

At Euro 2016 in France, Srna, once again as team captain, played in Croatia's first group stage match against Turkey. Shortly after the match, however, he returned to Croatia upon the news of his father's death during the match. He returned to France afterwards, as his dad's last wish was for him to play for Croatia.[71] Croatia reached the knock-out phase of the tournament, but lost 1–0 to Portugal through an extra-time Ricardo Quaresma goal. Srna subsequently announced his retirement from international football; he amassed 134 caps and 22 goals, which makes him his country's most capped player.[72]

Personal life[edit]

Srna was born in Metković[73] to Bosniak father Uzeir and Croatian mother Milka. His father, a World War II orphan and a former footballer for FK Sarajevo, supported his fledgling football career despite discrimination during the Yugoslav wars and widespread corruption among football coaches.[74] Before leaving Croatia to join for Shakhtar Donetsk, he gave his parents a brand new Mercedes.[75] He has a tattoo of a deer playing football on his leg, as "Srna" in Croatian means "deer".[76] Srna has also helped Bosnian club Borac Šamac, where his father played as goalkeeper and was also a coach.[77]

Srna has a half-brother, Renato, a coach at Neretva, from their father's first marriage.[76] His other brother Igor has Down syndrome. As a result, Srna dedicates all his goals to him,[76] and even revealed a shirt under his jersey saying "Igor, svi smo uz tebe" ("Igor, we are all here for you") after scoring a goal against Macedonia in international play. He also has a tattoo reading "Igor" along his heart.[67]

While at Shakhtar, Srna frequently buys match tickets for orphans and often finances their travel to the stadium at his own expense.[67][78][79] In late 2014, he purchased 20 tonnes of tangerines from farms near Metković and had them donated to over 23,000 primary school children in the Donbass region during the ongoing war there.[80]

Srna is married to long-time girlfriend Mirela Forić, whom he met through mutual friend and footballer Boško Balaban.[81][82] Their daughter Kasja was born in July 2010.[83]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 21 November 2016.[84]
Club Season League Cup Europe Super Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hajduk Split 1999–00 1 0 - - - - - - 1 0
2000–01 10 0 3 0 - - - - 13 0
2001–02 26 1 2 1 5 1 - - 33 3
2002–03 27 3 6 2 4 0 - - 37 5
Total (Hajduk) 64 4 11 3 9 1 - - 84 8
Shakhtar Donetsk 2003–04 19 0 5 3 5 0 - - 29 3
2004–05 22 1 7 1 11 0 1 0 41 2
2005–06 21 2 1 0 10 0 1 0 33 2
2006–07 20 3 5 0 9 1 1 0 35 4
2007–08 28 0 3 0 10 0 - - 41 0
2008–09 25 4 3 0 17 1 1 0 46 5
2009–10 26 2 2 1 11 1 - - 39 4
2010–11 27 3 2 0 9 1 1 0 39 4
2011–12 25 3 3 0 5 0 1 0 34 3
2012–13 26 2 5 1 8 1 1 0 40 4
2013–14 27 6 2 0 8 0 1 0 38 6
2014–15 23 4 5 0 7 1 1 0 36 5
2015–16 19 2 4 0 17 3 1 1 41 6
2016–17 11 1 0 0 6 0 1 0 18 1
Total (Shakhtar) 319 33 47 6 133 9 11 1 510 49
Career total 383 37 58 9 142 10 11 1 594 57

International[edit]

As of 25 June 2016[85]
Croatia national team
Year Apps Goals
2002 1 0
2003 11 1
2004 11 4
2005 9 3
2006 9 3
2007 11 4
2008 10 2
2009 9 1
2010 8 1
2011 10 0
2012 10 0
2013 11 2
2014 11 0
2015 6 0
2016 7 1
Total 134 22

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Croatia's goal tally first.[86]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 March 2003 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Belgium 1–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
2. 31 March 2004 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Turkey 2–1 2–2 Friendly
3. 8 September 2004 Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Sweden  Sweden 0–1 0–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 9 October 2004 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Bulgaria 1–0 2–2 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 9 October 2004 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Bulgaria 2–0 2–2 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 9 February 2005 Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem, Israel  Israel 1–2 3–3 Friendly
7. 3 September 2005 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 1–3 1–3 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
8. 8 October 2005 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Sweden 1–0 1–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
9. 1 March 2006 St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland  Argentina 2–2 2–3 Friendly
10. 22 June 2006 Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart, Germany  Australia 1–0 2–2 2006 FIFA World Cup
11. 15 November 2006 Ramat Gan Stadium, Ramat Gan, Israel  Israel 1–1 3–4 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
12. 24 March 2007 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Macedonia 1–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
13. 22 August 2007 Koševo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0–2 3–5 Friendly
14. 22 August 2007 Koševo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2–4 3–5 Friendly
15. 12 September 2007 Estadi Comunal, Andorra la Vella, Andorra  Andorra 0–1 0–6 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
16. 12 June 2008 Hypo-Arena, Klagenfurt, Austria  Germany 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2008
17. 20 August 2008 Ljudski vrt, Maribor, Slovenia  Slovenia 2–2 2–3 Friendly
18. 14 November 2009 Stadion HNK Cibalia, Vinkovci, Croatia  Liechtenstein 2–0 5–0 Friendly
19. 3 September 2010 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia  Latvia 0–3 0–3 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
20. 6 February 2013 Craven Cottage, London, England  South Korea 0–2 0–4 Friendly
21. 19 November 2013 Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia  Iceland 2–0 2–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification play-off
22. 4 June 2016 Stadion Rujevica, Rijeka, Croatia  San Marino 3–0 10–0 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Srna lifting the Ukrainian Cup in 2011
Hajduk Split[87]
Shakhtar Donetsk[87]

Individual[edit]

Orders[edit]

References[edit]

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