Yaroslav Rakits’kyy: My city

The latest issue of the club e-magazine is out now. An interview with Shakhtar defender Yaroslav Rakits’kyy is its centrepiece. We bring you some excerpts from that conversation.

- When the team loses, it’s everyone’s fault. Nevertheless, there is always a particular player whose error led to a goal...
- You mean whether we criticize each other? No, we don’t! Everyone goes through that inwardly. In football, if everyone expresses their criticism to the teammates, the team simply won’t exist, as we will get into quarrels with each other. Only the coach can scold the players.

- How do you react to criticism from Mircea Lucescu?
- It’s my seventh year of playing under his leadership. Initially it was hard to accept his criticism, I got terribly angry, trying to snap at him. Then I realized that Mister says the right things began to listen to him. As a result, I adopted a lot of expertise from Mircea Lucescu. I am lucky to have such a mentor! Now I realize that the criticism was fair. I learned a lesson from all that and feel grateful to Mister for that.

- Do you find it hard to be away from Donetsk personally?
- Every day I think about the city, about the people residing there. I’m really worried about those who found themselves in the midst of the warfare. Currently, the situation seems to be getting better, but still we can’t call it stable yet... of course, we lack the atmosphere that was present in our Donbass Arena, where over 50 thousand people came to the stadium and supported their team so that the stands were moving! That's real wholehearted support. I haven’t seen and will never see such support in any other city in the world. Just in Donetsk.

Read the full interview in the issue that you can download for free right now.