Versus / Shakhtar Donetsk, the endless exile of a Ukrainian club

international soccer

April 15 11:16

Istanbul, Turkey | AFP

“It’s very difficult to lose your house (…), to have to run from one place to another, all because of a tyrant, a dictator,” the guardian told AFP. of the club Andriy Pyatov, 37 years old. Shakhtar’s goal.

This club legend, with 480 games to his credit, his meter and 90 centimeters tall, has conquered ten of the thirteen Ukrainian leagues that appear in the windows of the club, which reigns in the country with its historic rival, Dinamo Kyiv ( 16 titles).

But he also lived the eight years of the club’s journey between the capital, kyiv, Lviv (west) and Kharkov (north-east), about thirty kilometers from the Russian border, since the region of Donetsk (east) suffered the clash between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.

The invasion of Ukraine launched on February 24 by Moscow, which prevented the resumption of the Ukrainian championship at the end of the winter break, on this occasion led the players of Shakhtar Donetsk outside the borders of their country.

The team, which arrived in Istanbul on April 6, began last week in Athens against Olympiakos a tour of friendly matches aimed at raising funds that will help war orphans in Ukraine in particular.

“If we can raise some money to help, then I think it was the right decision,” said Andriy Pyatov from the lawn of the brand new training center northeast of Istanbul where the Turkey team usually meets.

“I didn’t like the idea of ​​leaving now,” said team coach Roberto De Zerbi, who returned from Italy to prepare his men for the tour, which took them to Gdansk (Poland) on Thursday and in which they will face Turkish Fenerbahçe and Croatian Hajduk Split by early May.

– ‘I dream of going back’ –

The 13 Brazilians who wore the colors of Shakhtar Donetsk until the start of the conflict all fled the country at the end of February. Only two players remain in Ukraine: Georgiy Sudakov, whose wife is about to give birth, and Viktor Kornienko, who has joined the Territorial Defense Forces.

The rest of the team was able to leave Ukraine with special permission, as all men between the ages of 18 and 60 – of fighting age – are prohibited from leaving the territory.

None of them have taken up arms yet, according to a club spokesperson. But “if necessary, I will,” says Andriy Pyatov, whose family is still in Ukraine.

Coach Roberto De Zerbi will not prevent any of his players from going to fight, he assures us: “If it is a question of fighting for their freedom, for their dignity, for their pride, for their country , I can only congratulate them.”

The club’s president is Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.

His team will face Fenerbahçe on Tuesday at Istanbul Stadium where Pyatov and his teammates went on to win the 2009 UEFA Cup against Werder Bremen.

An emblematic stadium, but not as much as the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, an ultra-modern stadium which is the pride of the club and the inhabitants after its inauguration in 2009, but where no match has been played since May 2014.

Will Shakhtar play there again soon? “I dream about it, like all players… But we know it won’t be overnight,” admits Pyatov, aware that because of his age, maybe when this eventuality happens, he will will have already hung up the gloves.

“It will be long, but I still dream of it.”

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Paraguayan football

April 15 11:00

The president of Cerro Porteño, Juan José Zapag, referred to the classic that the “Ciclón” has in view; receives Libertad in Nueva Olla this Sunday, in a clash of leader and escort of the Apertura 2022 tournament.

“Repollero” arrives three points ahead of the Barça team and can widen the gap even more. Despite this, the boss reckons there will still be plenty of fabric to cut after the classic against Albinegra’s side.

“Determining no, there is a long way to go, but it is important to reach the top. Hopefully we can get the win. But we will see how it goes, there are too many commitments nearby. We hopefully be good that day and get the win,” he said in a chat with VERSUS radio on 970AM.

At another point, Juan José spoke about the situation of the Bolivian striker, Marcelo Moreno Martins, who is on special leave due to the significant loss of his family that he suffered last week; the death of his father.

“It will depend a lot on him, on his mental recovery. I hope he can reunite with his Paraguayan family in Cerro, that the boys can support him,” he said.

“It is also important that he is here as soon as possible so that he can train and be in good physical shape for the rematch, because we have very little bank,” he commented later.

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South American Cup 2022

April 15 10:37

Guaireña has almost achieved the feat of conquering his first international victory as a visitor, nothing more and nothing less than in the mythical Beira Río of Porto Alegre. Troadio Duarte’s side settled for a great draw and rocked one of the Copa Sudamericana’s most beloved sides.

Villarrica’s team, completely “unknown” to the continent, planted themselves on Brazilian soil and hurt the powerful Internacional de Porto Alegre, one of the candidates for the fight for the title of the American Cup in the South.

Looking at some details, we see that Inter have a team that is 14 times more valuable than Guaireña and a single Brazilian footballer costs more than the whole of Guaireña FC.

The Paraguayan workforce is worth barely 6,090,000 euros, according to the prestigious German portal Transfermarkt, a specialist in player and club valuation. In the Villarrican team, Jordan Santacruz is the footballer with the highest value, valued at 650,000 euros, followed by Antonio Martín, currently absent due to injury, and Rosalino Toledo, both at 5,000,000 euros. the European currency.

For his part, the Inter have a squad valued at 87,000,000 euros, 14 times more than Guaireña’s. Only Wanderson has a price tag of 8,000,000 euros, surpassing the entire Paraguayan team on his own.

But in football nothing is impossible, it is a team sport and only with names or numbers and no one is a game. Guaireña was well placed on the continent and with real chances to fight for the classification in his group.

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