After a record 134 matches, Croatia captain Darijo Srna has bowed out of international football…
Last night’s 1-0 extra-time loss to Portugal spelled the end of Croatia’s run at EURO 2016, and also the ended the international career of the stalwart right back. Srna had announced before EURO 2016 that the tournament would be the last time he would put on the national team shirt.
Before the tournament there were a number of sceptics in the country who thought the 33-year-old was passed his best and that the right back position should have been taken by new Atlético Madrid defender Šime Vrsaljko. But, Srna proved his critics wrong as he turned out impressive performances in all of Croatia’s matches.
“Euro in France will definitely be my last tournament. I want to play the best I can, say thanks and leave. I am tired of the travel, it has drained me. I want to spend more time with my family,” Srna said before the tournament started.
What made his performances even more impressive was the fact that he had to cope with the loss of his father, who passed away during Croatia’s opener against Turkey. Srna flew back to Croatia from France to attend his funeral and took the pitch just a few days later. The well-liked skipper showed his emotion during the anthems, and he seemed to find an extra gear over the last few matches.
Srna will not hang his boots up completely however just yet.
“I will focus on Šahtar. I am still hungry for success in football. My biggest wish is to end my career at my Donbass Arena. It is my city, my stadium, my life.”
Srna leaves playing a record 134 times for his country after debuting in 2002. He scored 22 times and will be remembered for his trademark crosses from the right and speed. Srna says that he plans to get his UEFA Pro Licence and start a career in coaching after he finally hangs up his boots.