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Darijo Srna's story

He started from the Balkans and arrive up to Cagliari

Darijo Srna's story He started from the Balkans and arrive up to Cagliari

Three Serie A appearances, 270 minutes played. No need to be a mathematician to calculate: Srna, in his first three appearances with Cagliari’s shirt, remained in the field for all 90 minutes of play (even a little more, considering the recoveries). After entering into the furrow of the various shots of Giulini’s management (from Bruno Alves to Van der Wiel, passing through Padoin, Isla and Borriello), the Croatian fullback seems to have already conquered all. Surely he has conquered Maran, who does not want to give up a boy who, at 36, continues to make the difference. Because Darijo, in his career, has always made the difference.


A history of war and hunger

The story of Darijo Srna is linked to war and its consequences: the father Uzeir, originally from Bosnia, in one night in 1941 is forced to run away from his native country set on fire by Serbian nationalists. At that stake he will lose his mother and his sister. After a thousand roads, which will take him first to Croatia, then to Paris, then back to Croatia, always looking for economic security and a hot meal, Uzeir Srna will finally move permanently to Metković. There he will marry for the second time, and from his marriage to Milka two sons will be born: Igor, the eldest, with Down's syndrome, and Darijo, second-born born on May 1, 1982.


Uzeir played as a goalkeeper for a period of his life, and this passion for football, of course, was also passed on to his son Darijo. Since he was a child he showed off for his technical skills. The problem, however, were his origins and his religion: several teams turned their noses in front of a half-Bosnian and Muslim boy, but the great opportunity came the same. Because Darijo's talent was too great to be stifled by prejudices. So, in 1998, Srna joined the youth teams of Hajduk Spalato: at 18 she made her debut in the first team, at 19 she was already an unmovable holder. With the Croats he won two national cups and played a total of 84 games, scoring 7 goals. Then, in 2003, the Shakhtar Donetsk call came.


Two flags legend

To understand how important Srna was to Shakhtar we can just say that, after his farewell, the number 33 jersey was withdrawn. Darijo remained in Shakhtar from 2003 to 2018, fifteen years, most of them together with Mircea Lucescu and his band of Brazilians. Darijo wrote the club's history: he is the player with the most appearances, 493 in all (with 45 goals and 121 assists in assets). As captain he raised the Europa League in 2009, and with the same shirt he also won 10 Ukrainian championships, 8 times the Croatian Cup, 8 times the Super Cup. A winning seamless, always on the same band, always with the same technique and the same tenacity that have marked his personal history and his career as a player. "I could have chosen Barcelona, ​​but Shakhtar is my home. And I prefer to win a Ukrainian championship here that the Champions League there”, he declared a year ago, responding to the rumors that wanted him in the blaugrana club sights. Srna remains at Shakhtar too (perhaps above all) when staying at Shakhtar was the hardest choice. In 2014, the Donbass war led him to leave his home and lead the team to leave the stadium. But the roots bring them inside, they are not a physical place, they are part of the person-Darijo. And the Darijo person does not give up in times of difficulty: "After so many years I can not just go away and leave them in this situation, I'm not this kind of person". Among the many things he did for the city of Donetsk, the unice who went around the newspapers was when he gave a hundred computers to a school for displaced children.

Srna has represented a flag fro Croatia too. He was captain of the National team from 2009 to 2016, the year of his withdrawal from the Ukrainian selection. With the same, he has participated in two editions of the World Cup (2006 and 2014) and four editions of the European Championships (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). With the national team, Darijo has collected 132 appearances (the player with more presences in the history of Croatia) scoring 22 goals. A flag in all respects, which over the years has shown an attachment out of the ordinary. Several times he was "attacked" for his origins, but he never pulled back. Even when pulling back or hiding was the easiest thing to do: in 2010 the Croatian national lacked the qualifications for the World Cup, and in the following ones for the European Srna feels the full weight of responsibility. As a captain, as a leader, he will take Croatia to qualify for the 2012 competition. Defeating criticism in the field, fighting as he has always done. With a thought turned to the family.

A family matter

As mentioned at the beginning, the story of the Srna family has been very troubled. His father was soon an orphan, he fought for years against poverty, to give his children the opportunity of a wealthy life that had not been granted to him. Srna also responded to this in the field: with the first salary as a footballer, he bought his father a car, to repay him for everything he had done for him. Darijo always brings the family with him, even on the right wing: he has a tattoo with the name of his brother Igor on his chest, every goal is dedicated to him.

The Srna family has also passed on all the news in the summer of 2016, during the European football championships. Before the start of the challenge with the Czech Republic, the Croatia’s captain was framed by the cameras during the anthem. Srna was in tears, looking at the sky and crying. A few days earlier, in fact, his father had disappeared after a long fight against the disease, while on television his son took to the field against Turkey. Darijo returned home to greet him, then joined his national team again. As a man, before a player, Srna has faced the games of his life with a fighting spirit, as the protagonist of a long and heartbreaking film. There will be applause at the open scene at the end of the screening. But the fine word, for this film, still seems far away.


On the pitch with Darijo

Srna, at 36, chose to join the Cagliari cause. Maran knows: he can still give a lot. He has a delicate right and anything but rusty, which in his career has allowed him to score several goals between penalties and free kicks. Di Srna can be trusted, runs and fights, serves assists to his teammates, plays with the team and for the team. A complete player, on which it was not by chance that Inter was involved in the summer. Physically it is still intact, for the salvation fight Cagliari can rely on all its experience. Over all its troubled, long, important history. With the family on the heart, tears in the eyes and football in the blood.