Mircea Lucescu: Alex Teixeira will be vice-captain

With the departure of Luiz Adriano, Shakhtar have lost the vice-captain. Who, on what basis and how decides on the team captain role? We have posed this question to the head coach of Shakhtar Mircea Lucescu.

- Mister, will the vice-captain be appointed by you or determined by the team vote?
- I am the one to decide on the captains. Because I'm responsible for the team. There was a time when I gave the captain's armband to Darijo and was not mistaken.

- Why did your choice fell on Srna back then?
- In any team, there is always a leader. And the leader is usually a player having the ability to build good relationships with absolutely all the teammates. Ideally, that’s a fair, well-mannered and very sociable individual. As a rule, a team has several leaders. Here is an example: at Shakhtar the leader in terms of experience and behaviour is Oleksandr Kucher, in terms of the maximum commitment on the field - Taras Stepanenko, in terms of technique - Alex Teixeira ... Finally, the leader who has a set of all those qualities is Darijo Srna. I have known him for a long time, and I selected him myself. He has good relationships with all the players. I took this decision after I realized that the Ukrainian players would vote for a Ukrainian, while Brazilians would do the same for a Brazilian. But that’s impossible! Besides, I saw in Darijo someone who can create a positive international image of the team due to his professional qualities. He plays every match at a consistently high level, although that’s not easy at all. After he became captain of Shakhtar, he was also appointed captain of the national team of Croatia. Darijo fulfilled his duties in this capacity. But in a team the captain should not be the one and only. Three are better! Leaders must help each other.

- Who will now be appointed as vice-captain?
- Luiz Adriano was a successful performer who had played for many years at Shakhtar and scored many goals. Before him, Fernandinho used to be the captain from the Brazilians, and the very first captain was Matuzalem. Now, this responsibility will pass to Alex Teixeira, who is currently not only the leader of the Brazilian players, but also a leading technical player. He is an offensive player who builds the game and performs a lot of work. Shakhtar has the backbone of 4-5 players, it is very difficult to replace them with someone else. They are the leading performers, forming the basis of the team. And Alex currently increasingly fulfils himself as an individual and a footballer. I am sure that this season he will continue to be the number one in the team, and that in the coming years Europe’s big-name clubs will be interested in signing him.