Igor Duljaj: Darijo’s gesture amazed me

The latest edition of the Shakhtar interactive magazine features the opinion piece from Igor Duljaj. The Pitmen’s midfielder of 2004-2010 has told about the acquaintance and friendship with Darijo Srna, as well as about the role of captain.

“It was 2004. I have just moved to Donetsk. At first, I lived in the hotel, but it could not continue for long. I had to move out, and I was yet to find apartments. I decided to move to the training base. Then I receive a phone call from Darijo: “You will live in my apartments until you find a house”. Back then this gesture amazed me: a man met me a few days ago and immediately offered his help... So began our friendship with Darijo Srna. He was very young. I think Srna knows himself what this period was like: hairstyle, earrings – his look was changing constantly. But human qualities have remained unchanged. For many years, I have been watching Darijo; he calls home every day, he cares. His family is in the first place. He spends little time on himself, but he is ready to give everything to his loved ones! So it was, is and will be.

Over the years, Darijo has become more and more serious. And he was still growing as a footballer. This, of course, is Mircea Lucescu’s great merit; he picked the correct position for him on the field. It is crucial  Mister and Darijo have found a common language. And it means a lot for the players and for the club. Srna became Mircea Lucescu’s reliable assistant. But Mister, in turn, values the opinion of the captain. They are two very loyal persons. They cannot betray – and it has been proved many times in different situations. Believe me, in Serbia, they know Shakhtar well – they write a lot about the team, the Brazilians are often talked about, everyone knows the Donbass Arena. But the club is associated with only three people: Rinat Akhmetov, Mircea Lucescu and Darijo Srna. They are symbols of Shakhtar, without whom it is simply impossible to imagine the team. When talking about Shakhtar, many Serbian players say “Bravo!” to these three people. Not in public, but in their inner circle. Even in Serbia, everyone understands that the foundation of the Donetsk club is these three people.

If I were asked to describe Srna in a few words...  He is a very good man. He is very devoted to his family, club, friends. He is cheerful. And he is very competent. His brain works constantly. But for me it is human qualities that are very important. I left Shakhtar long time ago, but we are still keeping in touch with each other; we constantly communicate. Symbolically, but Dario’s many loved ones are named Igor. Brother, agent, Shakhtar’s masseur, and me! I am proud that I know Srna. And I can confidently say that I consider Dario as my brother”.

The full version can be found in our online edition. Shakhtar’s magazine is available for free download.

FC Shakhtar