Darijo Srna: It’s nice to be here after six years

The captain of Shakhtar answered the questions from media on the eve of the game in Istanbul.

- Darijo, everyone knows that Mister marks a major birthday following the match day. Will this fact give you extra motivation?
- First of all, good evening everyone! It’s very nice to come after six years here, where we experienced some great emotions together with the club, with the team and with Mister. The very best emotions in our football career so far. Once again I want to thank all the fans, who were present at the stadium and supported Shakhtar back then. It was very nice. I have great respect for Istanbul and Turkey, for the local culture and traditions, I love these people and their mentality. As for the game ... Yes, Mister marks his big date the day after tomorrow. But we have two games and not just one! So I want us all to celebrate Mister’s birthday after the return leg together.

- During the summer break, Shakhtar has sold several key players. As the captain, what do you feel about the team’s readiness, teamwork and ability to make it to the Champions League?
- I am quite confident about that. Because the final decision was taken by Mister and the president. We have a lot of confidence, and we have already shown that. There is history, while we look forward, to the future! I believe that in the Super Cup and in two league rounds, we have proved that Shakhtar has both quantity and quality of the players to continue to continue performing as we did one, two, three or four years ago.

- Darijo, in the previous five seasons, you always made it to the Champions League group stage. What is important for you to find yourselves there again?
- Right, for five consecutive years, we have directly made it to the Champions League. For the first time over the years we have to play qualifiers. We are ready! We have a good team and a good coach with plenty of experience in the Champions League! We believe in our team. We sold several players, but we have the players in our squad, who can replace them. Tomorrow we are meeting with a great team. Fenerbahce have a great mentor and performers. At the same time, we must not forget this: we have two legs to play, not just one. And tomorrow I expect a very good game for the fans and for both teams.