As the Croatian stable in Shakhtar, Mario Stanić and Dario Srna could not have imagined a better debut on the bench in the Champions League. Just days after sitting on the bench of the champions of Ukraine, Stanić took on the role of head coach, while Srna sat in the position of first assistant.
The decision to step into a coaching role came from Stanić’s heart, rather than his mind. He didn’t have much time to think about it before taking over the team ahead of their game against Barcelona. Stanić said that he made his decision within half an hour when he received a call from someone who offered him the opportunity to coach Shakhtar.
Stanić and Srna have known each other since their days with the national team, and Srna was chosen to replace Stanić as right back at Shakhtar. The two players share a history dating back 30 years, with Srna getting an invitation to play for Croatia when he was younger and more technically sound than Stanić. This was a new experience for both players, but they are happy to be part of this club together.
As they sit together now, looking out over their teammates training on the field, Stanić can’t help but feel proud of what they’ve accomplished so far. He is grateful for this opportunity and looks forward to seeing what else they can achieve together as coaches at Shakhtar.