Darijo Srna will pay tribute to his late father by leading Croatia out against Czech Republic on Friday.
The Shakhtar Donetsk Captain was informed his father, Uzeir, had passed away and he flew home for the funeral where he was informed at his home City of Metkovic, by friends and familiar that Srna Sr insisted his son should continue to fight for glory in France with Croatia.
“It’s a very difficult moment for me and for my family,” he told a pre-match news conference at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Etienne. “I just have to say thank you to everybody, to all of you, to all my friends, family colleagues and team-mates – they are giving me support in every single way since I heard the news straight after the match.
“I am fit for the match, I am ready. Everybody knows that my father’s last wish was for me to play and win as much as possible with the Croatian national team.”
Srna added: “It was my father’s wish. Everything that he did in his life was for me to win matches with the Croatian football team.
“I went back to my house in Metkovic and they said to me that my father’s last wish was to continue playing this Euro. They will all be happy to see me on the pitch playing for Croatia.
“I am self-confident enough to do my best. When I got married, the next night after my marriage I flew to play for the national team against Austria.”
Croatia won their first match in Group D as they defeated Turkey 1-0.