Yevhen Konoplyanka: Tomorrow, two top sides are meeting

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



Sevilla’s Ukrainian midfielder took part in the pre-match press conference

- Zhenya, we are all pleased to see you here! At the airport yesterday, your fans staged a warm welcome, but you're probably aware that during the match tomorrow everything will be different in the stadium stands, with everyone wishing your team to suffer a defeat?
- Yes, yesterday I was really pleasantly surprised by the meeting at the airport! So many people came there, I want to say a big thank you to everyone! Honestly, I was missing them. I understand that tomorrow everything will be different, but I think we are ready for that and it will be a very interesting game. With the fans getting a lot of positive emotions.

- Of course, at Sevilla you are the one who knows Shakhtar’s performance best of all. Did you advise anything to the head coach and teammates?
- I will answer briefly: I have not won the UEFA Europa League title twice. Therefore, the coach knows better than me how to operate against Shakhtar.

- Today, even the official website of Sevilla after the reception at the airport, called their article the ‘Konoplyanka territory’. But for some reason, during the walk, you have not shown the territory to your team players. Do you plan to show Lviv to them?
- I'm glad - really! Probably, I came here to beat Shakhtar. The boys have not seen Ukraine and they want to see the places of interest. I told them that Lviv is a beautiful city, with enough things to see.

- The photo from the plane which you posted on Instagram, features you holding a book by Novak Djokovic called ‘The Taste of Victory’. Will reading be helpful for tomorrow's match?
- I just advise everyone to read this book. I am sure many people will like it. I read it recently, but I already feel that it helps. And hopefully, we will be able to win tomorrow.

- The previous press conference was attended by Yaroslav Rakits’kyy, who called you the most dangerous player at Sevilla. Who would you highlight at Shakhtar?
- Yaroslav is my friend! I think there is no need to answer this question (laughs). Yarik, you're the best and the most dangerous!

- Did Shakhtar’s advancement to the Europa League semi-finals surprise you personally, or everything is just logical? Did you follow Shakhtar’s performance?
- Of course, I followed it! Shakhtar are a good team, technical one. In general, I believe that tomorrow two top sides are meeting. We’d better meet in the final - it would be more interesting.

- Yevhen, in your 13 appearances for Dnipro against Shakhtar...
- ... I scored zero goals! I already answered this question. Football is still a team game, so let's recall how many times we beat Shakhtar with Ramos at the helm, with Markevych continuing in the same vein. The main objective is winning it, and not the goal I score. We need to score both in Lviv and in the return leg.

- What about your command of Spanish? In Ukraine, they write that you are fined at Sevilla for not knowing the language well enough.
- That’s all lies! Not a single reporter can get in touch with me, so, I guess, they just take revenge that way. In actual fact, everything is fine in our relationships with the players and coaches.

- What did your teammates tell you when they arrived in Lviv and saw the reception by your fans?
- Let it better remain just between us!