World Cup 2022: how Ukraine is preparing for the play-offs despite the war

World Cup 2022: how Ukraine is preparing for the play-offs despite the war

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Although the context of war between Russia and Ukraine continues and the emotional aspect remains difficult to cope with, the Ukrainian team, however, is mobilized. Indeed, on Wednesday June 1 they will play a crucial play-off against Scotland before potentially facing Wales on Sunday June 5 for the 2022 World Cup. A huge prospect for Zbirna, whose one and only World Cup appearance Mundo dates from 2006 and this would be a strong symbol given the current context. However, if the dream looks beautiful, the combination seems complicated. The war has already disrupted preparation with a group in disparate states of form. Taking advantage of an internship in Slovenia to get in shape, the team featured 25 local players including Mykhailo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk) and Oleksiy Gutsulyak (Dnipro -1) who had their first call-up. Among these elements, there has been a skimming, as Ukrainians playing abroad will join the group by the dropper.

What’s next after this announcement?

An encouraging preparation, but that still raises doubts

The coach opted for Andriy Lunin (Real Madrid), Vitaliy Mykolenko (Everton), Eduard Sobol (Bruges), Taras Kacharaba (Slavia Prague), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City), Ruslan Malinovskiy (Atalanta), Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham). Oleksandr Zubkov (Ferencvaros), Roman Yaremchuk (Benfica) and Danylo Sikan (Hansa Rostock). After a somewhat truncated start to preparation in Slovenia, where there was a dispute between the Ukrainian federation and Dynamo Kyiv, who refused to register their players because the club also had charity games to play, friendly matches were scheduled and played by Ukraine in order to increase power. The first game was the most interesting against Borussia Mönchengladbach with a 2-1 victory against the German club with goals from the phenomenon Mykhaylo Mudryk and Oleksandr Pikhalyonok. A great debut followed by a victory against Empoli (3-1) and a draw against Rijeka (1-1). Encouraging results and benefits, but which raise some doubts.

Especially since players coming from abroad will have to quickly catch up in the coming days. Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin is also involved in the Champions League final this Saturday (as is Scotsman Andrew Robertson). The former Ukrainian international who scored for Dynamo kyiv, Vladislav Vashchuk, was quite restrained in comments broadcast by Sport : “So far the impressions of the national team are not as exciting as we would like. I hope we will still go to the World Cup, but we have to do everything to win and get a ticket.” The latter also expects many stars to play abroad and quickly join the team. Coach between 2001 and 2003 and former glory of Dynamo Kyiv, Leonid Buryak for his part fears moving to Scotland: “Yes, I am afraid of this game with the Scots… I played in Scotland and I know how difficult it is there. Despite the fact that the Scots have recently improved significantly in the game with the ball, the main thing to face them will be good physical condition, endurance under crazy pressure. I hope that the Ukrainian team has the courage not to back down.”

A whole country united in difficulty

More united than ever in recent years due to its political situation, Ukraine will have a more motivated team than ever in football. The objective is clear: to make an entire people proud and send a message of hope for the future of the country by participating in the second World Cup in its history. Shakhtar Donetsk’s young defender Valeriy Bondar is well aware of this, as he mentioned by Sport : “The training process is going very well. We are preparing for one of the most important matches of our lives.” Local legend Andriy Shevchenko, who was on the adventure in 2006, also lent his support to the players: “Many players of the Ukraine national team did not have the opportunity to train before the match against Scotland. But I think a miracle is possible because I know what his motivation is.

Shakhtar Donetsk’s sporting director, Croatian Darijo Srna, also showed his optimism: “Physically, the team is well prepared, mentally preparing for June 1 and expecting players to play abroad. The guys are very motivated, and I can say with confidence that the Ukrainian players and coaching staff will give all their strength, more than 100%, to bring sporting success and a lot of joy to Ukraine and reach the World Cup. We hope so and we encourage them.” While Ukraine will have to content themselves with internal clashes heading into the game against Scotland, as they were unable to find an opponent who would meet their requests (be it weak teams or a schedule issue), they are therefore quite a team. bum who will appear against the Tartan Army. However, you will not lack the motivation to achieve the sensation. A year after their beautiful Euro 2020 that ended in the quarterfinals, Ukraine wants to write another beautiful page in their football history. This one would obviously have a particular taste since the context is even more complicated than last summer.

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