Darijo Srna Reveals End of Career Plans: “I will play another season, even for NK Neretva!”

Daniela Rogulj

The legendary captain of the Croatia national team and Shakhtar Donetsk could choose a function in the Ukrainian club, but he wants to return to the pitch one last time. 

Darijo Srna, who is now 36-years-old, has been at  Shakhtar Donetsk for 15 years. He is not only the longtime captain of the club, but he is also one of the most respected players in Donetsk’s history, despite having missed all of last season after testing positive for doping.

In recent months, Srna has speculated that he will continue his career after his suspension was over, and even after Shakhtar coach Paulo Fonseca said he hoped to make Darijo a part of his coaching staff, Srna has now clarified any doubts and made it clear that he wishes to play on the pitch for one last season, reports Sportske Novosti on May 22, 2018. 

“I do not know what function I would have in the club, but it would definitely be tied to football. Fans want me to be in the club, but my football career will end on the field! It was long and great, and I deserve to finish on the pitch. Out of respect for my father and my family, to all the supporters who were with me all this time. I’m sure I’ll play somewhere else, and I want to play. I want to play the last year for fun, for good,” Darijo said.


Srna then spoke about surrendering his position at Shakhtar to a younger player.

“Shakhtar already bought a young player, Dodo from Brazil, and they have two young talented Ukrainians, and professionally the club is looking into a future that will be based on the younger players. Shakhtar was always my club, and I was always ready to give everything to it. For me, there is only one club in Ukraine, and it is Shakhtar, so I will continue my career outside of Ukraine.”

Darijo Srna is the Croatian version of Andres Iniesta or Gigi Buffon. While the legends of their clubs have an offer, the decision ultimately relies on them. However, the Croatian legend has decided to continue his career.

One event, in particular, deserves special attention. After the Ukrainian Cup final in which Shakhtar defeated Dynamo Kyiv, Srna received a great honor and the utmost respect from his teammates.

“Given the situation, I could not attend the medal and cup ceremony, and the new captain Taison went out among the fans, took my shirt, wore it, and returned to the pitch. The entire team dedicated the trophy to me, and the fans clapped. It was an extremely emotional moment that I will remember for a lifetime. That moment was worth more than all the contracts and money, all the games I played for Shakhtar. I have experienced incredible respect as a player the 15 years I spent at Shakhtar.” 

Srna has always been a considerable authority in the great Ukrainian club, and he was not just a player, he was, as many would say – everything. While he was playing and winning trophies, the Ukrainian media acknowledged him, he brought up many young players and became a club legend. He also took care of the Croatians and brought over physical therapists Bojan Radanović and Igor Gršković, and goalkeeper coach Tomislav Rogić to the club – and was even one of the key people in the recent transfer of Eduardo.

“You see, for the first time in my life, I can choose. I have many options in front of me. I can work in the club, I can play, and I can finish my career! And my option is to continue to play. It does not have to be for a big club, I want to play this last year for myself, even if it’s at Neretva in Metković,” concluded Srna.


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