Images of the invasion of Russia a Ukraine they continue to leave behind shocking stories and images. In sports too. One of them stars Shakhtar Donetsk. A club that practically every season relishes the honey of playing in a competition like the Champions League.
However, for a few weeks, there is no longer any professional activity for him. After the suspension of the Ukrainian league, Shakhtar packed their bags and headed to Turkey. From there, they prepare an exhibition route. A special tour that has already made its first stop.
An alternative in which the Dynamo Kyiv. Because historical rivalries within football are just history. Only that. Many players who have played in Ukrainian teams so far will not return. But for now, the next season is a reality which should start next July.
A memory and an exile
darijo sna is the current sporting director of Shakhtar Donetsk. He has already experienced a war conflict in the first person. It was in the 1990s in the old Yugoslavia. A trauma that dragged on and is now reliving with the Russian invasion: “I started to panic. You have a lifelong trauma, of course, deep inside of you. It’s something you try to forget. things”.
The club of Donetsk he also relived a nightmare. In 2014, Russia attacked Ukraine. Russian missiles even fell on the Shakhtar stadium. They have since moved to Lvivat the other end of the country. after to Kharkov settle Kyiv.
With the memory still in the retina, the Shakhtar is forced to move again. Foreign players were given a “safe conduct” to sign for other clubs outside the transfer window. While players or coaches of military age had special permission to leave Ukraine and therefore land in Turkey.
Istanbul this is your new home. But no one forgets Ukraine. At Shakhtar, they hope to become a symbol and look to the future with a different project from the one they would carry out at this stage of the season. All this in a context where it is planned to raise funds to ease the difficult situation facing the Ukrainian people.
Look to the future
The next season has already been fixed in Ukraine. Although still with doubts as to whether it will become a reality. Even Shakhtar Donetsk still doesn’t know if their city will remain Ukrainian territory when the conflict with Russia reaches its final chapter.
“They can put any flag in Donetsk. But Shakhtar will always be from Donetsk; it’s something no one and nothing can change”, says Srna. Life will never be the same again. But at the club, they look to the future so as not to be left behind and above all not to turn their their roots.
For now, the plan is to hold a series of exhibition matches. A tour to raise funds. And the first one already took place last weekend. On Saturday, Shakhtar Donetsk played in Greece and claims his name and his story: “I don’t know what kind of team in the history of football can be compared to us. No other team has felt or experienced what we have experienced in recent years.”
Before the Olympiacosin Athens, Shakhtar launched the plan. From raising funds for the Ukrainian army to providing humanitarian aid to the citizens of the country. And, of course, also within a sports itinerary. After all, they are footballers. Football players who are also part of the Ukrainian national team and who have a very important appointment in June: getting the ticket for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
For this reason, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Kyiv are teaming up for their respective exhibition tours. Although one team and the other have seen how the majority of non-Ukrainian international players have dropped out of their disciplines due to the war. Some of them will never come back, others like marlon They promised they would come back when it was all over.
Something they understand in Shakhtar. “We are not angry, we are all human beings. It is important that they are safe and with their families,” Srna says. A Srna who is “unfortunately” living through its “third war”. Precisely, he was a key player in the whole process to save professional players, but also players from home, coaches and families. From Turkey to Croatia to keep the bombs as far away as possible.
“I just put myself in their shoes. I didn’t want those kids to be left listening all day to shelling and bullets. What I remember when I was a kid, I remember who gave me chocolate, which gave me a ball, which gave me water. And that was the most important”, underlines a Darijo Srna who is one of those heroes who do not wear a cape.
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