Dario Srna and Mario Stanić, two Croatian soccer legends, made their debut on the bench for Shakhtar in the Champions League against Barcelona. Just days before, they had sat on the bench of the champions of Ukraine as assistants to their new coach. Srna is currently the sports director at Shakhtar, but he sacrificed his role to sit on the bench until a coaching solution was found.
Stanić explained that he made this decision with his heart and that it happened very quickly. He didn’t have time to think about anything because they were in a rush to take over the team before the game against Barcelona. He decided within half an hour and felt something inside him when the coach called him.
Srna and Stanić have known each other since the national team, and Srna replaced Stanić in the position of right back. Stanić has known Srna for 30 years and played with him in Croatia’s national team for 6-7 years. They won a bronze medal at the World Championship in 1998 together. After seeing Srna play, Stanić knew he had a great future ahead of him and decided to leave his position as right back to make way for Srna.
Stanić concluded by saying that this is a great story, and he is happy to be part of Shakhtar and contribute to their success in Europe’s top club competition.