Zinchenko speaks with Gary Lineker about war in Ukraine
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Oleksandr Zinchenko struggled to contain his emotions after the Manchester City star revelled in the glory of their Premier League triumph. The Ukrainian star was visibly overwhelmed as he draped a Ukraine flag over the trophy as he celebrated with his team-mates.
Zinchenko was sure to mark the occasion by celebrating in front of the cameras after being lauded as a hero in his country for spreading awareness about the Russian invasion of his nation and continuing to play amid the ongoing conflict. And he was handed the highest reward for his efforts after coming on at half time for Fernandinho, playing his part in the second-half comeback.
The 25-year-old paid tribute to his club and team-mates for helping him through the toughest periods of his life. And in dedicating the title to the people of Ukraine, the left-back pledged to take the trophy back to his homeland one day if possible.
“I wanna die for these people, for this support,” an emotional Zinchenko said. “I hope one day I can bring this title to Ukraine, for my people, they deserve this.
“It’s unforgettable emotions for me, for all Ukranians, which at the moment are starving, they are surviving in my country because of the Russian aggression. I would love to bring this title to Ukraine because they all deserve it.
“It means everything for me. I want to die for these people for all this support. What they have done for me during this toughest period of my life, I’m so appreciated and I’ll never forget this in my whole life.”
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Zinchenko admitted football was not his top priority as Russian aggression saw his nation ravaged by waves of attacks in February and March. “I didn’t even think too much about football. We saw the support that I had. I hope we will keep going because this amazing club deserve everything.”
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp was full of praise for Zinchenko for his impact both on and off the pitch: “I can only imagine what he’s been through this year. His country has been invaded, his friends and family, what’s going on,” he said.
“What he has done is give everyone at home so much hope because that lifts everybody. He’s an incredible footballer. He’s done an amazing job since he’s been here. When he came on today, he made a massive difference, his positional sense and going forward. He’s been a brilliant signing from the club. Fair to play him. It’s such heroic what he’s done.”
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