Sergei Palkin: Interesting to face those whom we haven’t played with before

FC Shakhtar CEO has given his take on the Champions League draw for Futbol 1 channel.

- Before the group stage draw you said that you would like Shakhtar to be drawn against the teams that you have not faced before...
- I spoke to Mister two hours before the draw. We discussed whom it would be interesting to see as Shakhtar’s opponents. And in the end we agreed that it would be interesting to face those with whom we have not played before. And so it happened.

- In fact, Real Madrid were Mister’s ‘desire’, weren’t they?
- You could say it was a joint decision, because we have played with virtually everyone. It is interesting to look at our team against other opponents. Especially against Real Madrid and PSG in their new format. The most important thing is that we have brought a football feat for our fans. As for the tough group and tough opponents... Every team is tough in the Champions League! This is football: we need to play and win.

- Whom do you think it will be more difficult with: PSG or Real Madrid?
- Frankly, I think in this situation it will be more difficult against Malmo. Thiey are like Rapid Vienna. When the opponents are considered to be weaker, things don’t always pan out well for us, because there may be underestimation. I believe that all three teams are difficult to play with. The group is strong; our task is to win.

- What do you worry the most about before the start of the group stage?
- We worry only about the fact that we play away from home. And all the other issues can be solved in the course of the season.

- Dynamo Kyiv have also discovered their opponents. Whose group is more difficult?
- I believe that our group is clearly more difficult.

- What is Shakhtar’s task: finish first in the group or is there no difference?
- The main thing is to advance from the group. Naturally, it is better to finish first. But since the group is very strong, the main thing is to advance from it.