The Ukrainian national team returned to training and is excited about qualifying for Qatar 2022: “It will be a celebration for the country”

Ukraine prepares to make history (AFP)
Ukraine prepares to make history (AFP)

The military invasion of Russia a Ukraine prevented the normal development of UEFA qualifiers and therefore the selection conducted by Alexander Petrakov he had to interrupt his performance in the contest. With sports activity completely stopped by the attacks, UEFA decided to postpone the commitments of the Ukrainian team, which this week returned to work after almost three months.

Midfielder Taras Stepanenko said on Friday that the team is ready to make history: “We will play with our souls and our hearts”, as they prepare in Slovenia for their 2022 World Cup play-off match against Scotland. Preparations began this week at the training center of the Slovenian Football Association.

Coach Oleksandr Petrakov was able to bring together 23 players from Ukrainian clubs and expects others to arrive from all over Europe when the season is over. Since their arrival in Brdo, the players have been practicing twice a day ahead of the June 1 clash. It is worth remembering that The winner of that duel will play against Wales for the ticket to the Qatar 2022 World Cup to be part of Group B where England, Iran and the United States are already.

Stepanenko maintained that the war, which started when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, kept him away from soccer fields and out of training for more than a month, but he and his teammates were getting back into shape: “It’s not just a football game. We have to play with the soul and the heart”.

On June 1, they will have to beat Scotland to then face Wales (AFP)
On June 1, they will have to beat Scotland to then face Wales (AFP)

“We receive messages from our soldiers… and they only have one demand: please do your best to go to the World Cup”. Therefore, if the team qualifies for Qatar, “it will be a celebration for the country,” said the 32-year-old midfielder. “For the country, for them (the soldiers) it is a moment of hope.”

Ukraine will play a friendly match with the German club Borussia Moenchengladbach on May 11, the country’s football association announced last Friday, in a duel ahead of their World Cup play-off against Scotland in Glasgow. Petrakov advanced that the Ukrainian Football Federationl is negotiating more friendlies and added that the UEFA president, Alexander Ceferinhad suggested that they prepare at the training base of the Slovenian Football Federation.

With information from AFP


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