Rinat Akhmetov: Mircea Lucescu is a great coach and my big friend!

President of FC Shakhtar has greeted the head coach on his birthday.

Dear Mircea!

To be honest, I was expecting a different celebration. I thought we would mark your birthday in a crowded Donbass Arena, where together with 50 thousand fans, we would wholeheartedly say Thank You.

Thank you for the UEFA Cup. Thank you for 8 league titles. Thank you for 5 Cups and 7 Super Cups of Ukraine. Thank you for the fact that Shakhtar have won 21 trophies with you! Thank you for our being respected in Europe. Thank you for the fact that we showcase outstanding and spectacular performance.

Dear Mircea! I have enjoyed the great privilege of working with you – for 12 years in a row, you have been the head coach of Shakhtar Donetsk. During this time, you and I have become good friends, understanding each other perfectly, finishing each other’s sentences and even understanding each other without words.

If they ask me: What would you say about Mircea Lucescu? - first of all, I will say this: He is my big friend. The man with a big heart, sincere and sentimental. The man devoted to Shakhtar, who, in the most difficult time for us, did not leave us looking for a new job, while being in demand. A very wise man. And the right thing to say is this: Mircea Lucescu is a great coach!

I mean, he loves Shakhtar, and Shakhtar has already inscribed his name in its history in big gold letters.

Mircea, I am greeting you on your birthday and wish you many, many happy returns of the day! And let your dream, our common dream and the dream of all our fans, come true as quickly as possible - I wish that we as soon as possible get back to the Donbass Arena together! Happy birthday! And be happy!