The former captain visited his old teammates in Kiev, and maybe even gave a motivational speech.
The Croatian national football team, with their newly appointed coach Zlatko Dalić, are currently in Kiev awaiting the last match of the World Cup 2018 qualifiers tomorrow, reports Goal.hr on October 8, 2017.
Unfortunately, the situation is “to be or not to be” for Croatia – and without a victory, Croatia’s advancement into the competition next year is unlikely.
After a very turbulent Saturday which began with the resignation of coach Ante Čačić and the arrival of new coach Zlatko Dalić, the Croatian national team made their journey to the Opera Hotel in Kiev to prepare for their evening training, the last before the match at Olympic Stadium on Monday against Ukraine (20:45).
Former captain of Croatia, Darijo Srna took advantage of the opportunity to visit the players of the national team in Ukraine. Judging by the photos the Croatian Football Federation posted on Twitter today, the atmosphere at lunchtime looked more than positive – and we can hope that it is a precursor of good news for the game itself.
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) October 8, 2017
Darijo Srna is no stranger to Ukraine and has been a resident of the country for years after joining Shakhtar Donetsk from Hajduk in 2003. The captain of the team, Srna has been in the spotlight over the last few weeks after testing positive for a banned substance.
The retired Croatian national team footballer said in a statement on ESPN:
“First and most important, I would like to make it clear that I have never knowingly or intentionally taken any prohibited substance, nor unfairly intended to gain a competitive advantage.
I am investigating the possible source of the substance and am co-operating fully with NADCU in this respect.
In order to focus on my defence and avoid any undue distractions for the team, I have made the decision to refrain from playing until the ongoing legal proceedings have been resolved. I will now be focused entirely on clearing my name and reputation.
Over the course of my entire career I was always under the impression that I had to persistently prove myself over and over again. Today is another such example when I will once again prove that everything I have accomplished, thus far, both in my life and my professional career, has been achieved solely through hard work, integrity, discipline, and honesty above all.”
Darijo announced he would not play until the case was thoroughly investigated, but promised that this was not the end of his career.
Translated from Goal.hr