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Mircea Lucescu: Thanks to everyone who's been by my side over the years

Saturday, May 21, 2016



Press conference of the head coach of Shakhtar after defeating Zorya

- Very good performance for the Cup final. Two ambitious teams with great skill have met on the pitch. Despite the fact that it’s the end of the season now, and, perhaps, both teams were already fatigued. I am happy with the performance quality. I reckon it’s not the first time when we respond to various insinuations continuously occurring around our games against Zorya. Over the 12 years of my being at the helm of Shakhtar, there have never been any improper action on my part or on the part of my team. The current Shakhtar and Zorya have met, featuring many lads who must be Shakhtar’s future. As for the game, I think we’ve deserved to win today. We may have been more experienced. And we surpassed the opponents technique wise. It is evident that Zorya are a very ambitious, aggressive team, being fast enough. And it’s apparently not just for nothing that they have reached the final, because the performance they showcase is worthy of the final. As for me, they are generally one of the teams who produce some spectacular football, probably being second to Shakhtar entertainment wise. Very short, probably, will be the rest period, particularly for those players who go on international duty. I wished every success to everyone. They represent Shakhtar, with Shakhtar being a winning team. Therefore, I would like them to spread this opinion there, being on international duty.

- Congrats on the win! We aren’t going to let you go that early today. Is that all? Your last game?
- Yes. This is my last game. If you remember, I previously said that I would behave in a civil way until my deal expires, until my last match, and that I would neither talk to anyone nor negotiate on the future. I did not want to risk our league performance, along with that in the Europa League and the Ukrainian Cup. So starting tomorrow, I will be a free coach who will seek another club. Until today, I haven’t signed anything and have not conducted any negotiations with anyone so far. Starting tomorrow, I will probably do that. This will also allow Shakhtar to immediately begin the search for a new coach. The Donetsk club turns 80 this year, with my tenure here lasting just for 12 years. In my interview to Futbol 1 channel, I’ve just said this: I want to thank everyone who’s been by my side over the years, including reporters. A great many people have worked with me all those years. Perhaps their input was not that significant, but it was important. Those are the people who looked after the football pitches, doing their best for us to exercise in good conditions. I want to thank all the club employees without exception. They did everything possible for Shakhtar to meet the highest standards both domestically and on the European stage. Far too many people should I name now to thank each of them. I want to thank our fans. I can imagine how they are suffering from the fact that the team are away. But there where they are, I think, they rejoice in our successes. I want to thank all of my players. Over these 12 years, there have been a lot of players, with nearly five or six teams changing. Some of them left, others left. We replaced them without making it noticeable, with the young players appearing now. We invited young players, with them growing together with us and leaving to join Europe’s top clubs. I frequently receive some greetings from them. Towards them we showed great patience, and they proved to be real men. I want to thank not only the guys who are with us today, but also those who left us. In my heart, I will always be with them, I will follow every step of their careers. I told the players to continue to win titles, just as they’ve been doing recently. I want to hug you all. And most importantly, I want to thank our president. I want to embrace him, being grateful for the fact that he allowed me to coach here – to be not just a coach, but also his friend. I know how much he suffers from the fact that he cannot be together with the team, especially at the time of winning, just like today. I will never cease to talk about it: I want to say to our president just the words of gratitude.