Vyacheslav Shevchuk: A beard just refuses to grow

Vyacheslav Shevchuk gave an exclusive interview to the Shakhtar magazine

- Vyacheslav, you have been at Shakhtar for so many years and, suddenly, at 32, you start showing significant progress as a player. How could you explain it? Did you change the system of training and nutrition? Did your wedding have an impact on it?
- No. I do not think that my previous form was worse. That would be a wrong statement. Probably, I have become more involved in our team’s attacking moves. The thing is that the fans tend to always pay attention to attacking players rather than defending ones.

- Your attacking duties are a part of pre-match instructions given by the head coach, isn’t it?
- It is not just me – the whole team employs attacking approach.

- But it has always been like that.
- Let’s put it this way: now I can join attacks more frequently. As for training regime and nutrition, there have not been any changes.

- Apparently, your football life is going to be very long and happy…
- If a level of fitness and performance is good, then why not? 32 is a good age. At the highest level you can play at least another 5 years. Why do they in Europe play until they are almost 40? Because they are professionals in terms of their attitude towards the work, regime and so on. So, with the right attitude one can play for a long time and this is what I intend to do.

- At one point you were showing stunning results in the 100 metres. What about now?
- I feel that I have become even stronger over the past few years – I have gained 10 kilograms in 10 years.

- You began to be named more regularly in the starting line-up and you almost forced out Razvan Rat of the first team. Did you have any conflicts on this issue?
- You know, I always try to give my best, be it a competitive game or a training session. It is up to the coach to decide who deserves a first-team berth. Shakhtar has four players who can play at left-back. I cannot say that someone is better or worse. With regard to Razvan, I have a decent relationship with him. Moreover, I do not like conflicts.

- How would you describe yourself as a person?
- I do not know how I am perceived by others but there is one thing that I know for sure: if I do not like something or if I see injustice, I will never be silent.

- Footballers are generally superstitious; they do not like number 13. As for you, this is the date of your birthday and that is why you have this number on your shirt. Many players are also known for not shaving before games, but this tradition does not seem to apply to you. Is it your way of ‘bidding defiance’ to superstitions?
- No, I just like to be clean-shaven. It is all about the hygiene. A beard just refuses to grow. (Laughs.)

- Let's talk about the traditions. There is a growing trend of having the names of wives and children on football boots. You do not have children yet, but what about the wife?
- I have Nike on the boots. Let’s assume that I advertise them!

- Are you and Darijo the most cheerful players in the team?
- No, there is also Jadson, Seleznyov ... and goalkeeping coach Marian Ionitse. (Laughs.)

- You are said to be the author of all the nicknames at Shakhtar. Is it true?

- No. (Laughs.) Well, no one is offended. I can also laugh at myself. What I cannot stand is stupid jokes.

- Your teammates say that you often sing along with the car radio, especially when listening to Gaitana?
- No, nothing like that. I do not sing along. Besides Shakhtar – champion!, I do not know any Gaitana’s songs. I like Alegrova, Nikolaev, Krutoy. Regarding Ukrainian singers, I only listen to Bilyk and Lorac.

- Speaking of the Shakhtar – champion music video, how would you assess it?
- It was evident that many of those, who appeared in leading roles, were not ‘real’ – they were acting. In real life they never say such phrases as So come and support us or No sooner said than done ... We found it very funny. Well, this is show business and it implies acting.

FC Shakhtar
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