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Darijo Srna ( ; born 1 May 1982 in Metkovićmarker) is a Croatianmarker footballer of Romani heritage who currently plays for Shakthar Donetsk and the Croatian national team, in which he is currently the leading goalscorer out of the current active squad and second on the all time list. A versatile winger, he is known for his free kicks and goal-scoring technique, as well as his range of passing and his work ethic. He captains Shakthar Donetsk and is usually employs as a Right Back for Shakthar.

Club career

Srna's talent was seen by many scouts in Croatia when he was young. Srna was later signed anyway as his talent became evident and desirable for the Croatian giantsHaving made an impressive impact at Hajduk, he was considered one of his team's best players.

Shakhtar Donetsk

In 2003, Srna was sold, along with Stipe Pletikosa to Shakhtar Donetsk. He is a common member and the captain in his club side, in which he has made a large impact in the league with.

After the 2006 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 has been linked with a number of other clubs, including S.S. Lazio.

Srna made his debut in main stage of UEFA Champions League on 14 September 2004 against Milan.

On 23 June 2008, Srna gave a interview to the Croatian press in which he said:

On 20 May 2009, Srna won the UEFA Cup with Shakhtar as captain. Srna provided the assist for Jádson's winning goal seven minutes into extra time, and was named Man of the match. This was the last UEFA Cup before the change to the Europa League.

International career

Euro 2004

Srna made his full international debut for the Croatian 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 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 the 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.

2006 World Cup

After the Euro 2004, Srna went on to become one of the key players in Croatia's 2006 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 Gothenburgmarker. 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 strictly criticized for his penalty miss against Japan, although 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 therefore 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.

Euro 2008

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. In the 88th minute, he provided a cross which found fellow 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 favor. Srna went on to miss a penalty against Estonia, however his overall contribution to teamwork attack compensated for this mistake which Croatia quickly capitalized 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.

After the tournament, Srna has been said to succeed current captain Niko Kovač in carrying the captaincy armband for the national team. Amongst other candidates, his head coach at Shakhtar gave an interview which praised his hard work and passion for the game, leaving him to be a most likely candidate.

Playing style

Srna plays in the right midfield wing position for Croatia, but he plays in the right-back position for his club Shakhtar Donetsk. He is most well known for his ability to score from free kicks and makes precise crosses. Quick on his feet, he is talented in being able to constantly create an offensive game. While playing at national level, he is often praised for his hard work which sees him control the midfield battle of the game. He is also known for having a fierce and powerful shot.

At club level, he plays in a further held back defensive position with a common habit and license to move further forward and assist in attacking chances. He is usually the first choice penalty and free kick taker for both his club and national team.

Personal life

Srna was born to a Bosniak father, Uzeir, from Bosansko Grahovomarker, Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker, and a Croatian mother, Milka. Srna has on many occasions been dubbed as a family man. He has stated that he owes all his credentials to his Bosniak father, Uzeir, who kept him alive and faithful during the tough years of the war, helping him pursue his dream as a footballer. Before leaving Croatia to join for Shakhtar, he gifted him with a brand new Mercedes. He has a tattoo of a deer playing football on his leg, as 'Srna' in Croatian means 'deer'.

The Chetniks, a Serbian nationalist organisation, killed Uzeir's pregnant mother and his father was killed by a stray bullet during the ethnic cleansing against Bosnian Muslims. Srna has a half-brother, Renato who works as a coach at Neretva, from Uzeir's previous marriage with a woman called Nada.

His brother Igor has Down syndrome. As a result, Srna dedicates all his goals to him, 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. He also has a tattoo of "Igor" along his heart.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 March 2003 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
1 – 0
4 – 0
Euro 2004 Qualifying
2. 31 March 2004 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
2 – 1
2 – 2
Friendly
3. 8 September 2004 Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburgmarker, Swedenmarker
0 – 1
0 – 1
World Cup 2006 Qualifying
4. 9 October 2004 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
1 – 0
2 – 2
World Cup 2006 Qualifying
5. 9 October 2004 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
2 – 0
2 – 2
World Cup 2006 Qualifying
6. 9 February 2005 Teddy Stadiummarker, Jerusalemmarker, Israelmarker
1 – 2
3 – 3
Friendly
7. 3 September 2005 Laugardalsvöllurmarker, Reykjavikmarker, Icelandmarker
1 – 3
1 – 3
World Cup 2006 Qualifying
8. 8 October 2005 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
1 – 0
1 – 0
World Cup 2006 Qualifying
9. 1 March 2006 St. Jakob-Parkmarker, Baselmarker, Switzerlandmarker
2 – 2
2 – 3
Friendly
10. 22 June 2006 Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadionmarker, Stuttgartmarker, Germanymarker
1 – 0
2 – 2
World Cup 2006
11. 15 November 2006 Ramat Gan Stadiummarker, Ramat Ganmarker, Israelmarker
1 – 1
3 – 4
Euro 2008 Qualifying
12. 24 March 2007 Maksimir Stadiummarker, Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker
1 – 1
2 – 1
Euro 2008 Qualifying
13. 22 August 2007 Koševomarker, Sarajevomarker, Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker
0 – 2
3 – 5
Friendly
14. 22 August 2007 Koševomarker, Sarajevomarker, Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker
2 – 4
3 – 5
Friendly
15. 12 September 2007 Estadi Comunalmarker, Andorra la Vellamarker, Andorramarker
0 – 1
0 – 6
Euro 2008 Qualifying
16. 12 June 2008 Hypo-Arenamarker, Klagenfurtmarker, Austriamarker
1 – 0
2 – 1
Euro 2008
17. 20 August 2008 Ljudski vrtmarker, Maribormarker, Sloveniamarker
2 – 2
2 - 3
Friendly


Honours

Hajduk Split


Shakhtar Donetsk


Individual


References

External links




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