Favbet Puma SCM

Sokolovskiy: Shakhtar demonstrate high-level football

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



On November 15, Shakhtar’s legendary footballer, long-standing team captain and a star holder in the Walk of Fame Mikhail Sokolovskiy turned 65. On this occasion, we wish the birthday boy sound health, happiness and prosperity

- Many happy returns of the day, Mikhail! Is your birthday any different from any other day for you?
- Thank you. For example, my 60th birthday took place before the war. A lot of people, all gathered together, presented me with a commemorative Shakhtar shirt... I want to thank Rinat Akhmetov, who has phoned me up and wished me a happy birthday. It was very nice! In such a difficult time, the club president has found the possibility to do so. This means that people still think about football. Mr. Akhmetov said it right: Shakhtar does not give up.  I agree with him, because this is virtually the only club which does not lose heart no matter what, demonstrating some high-level football. Today we have gathered a narrow group of people: my relatives, friends. Everything’s fine, but, frankly, it’s somewhat boring and tough without football.

- Being a player, did you try to gather with the entire team after training?
- It happened in different ways. We were young enthusiasts, who believed in the future and did not notice any difficulties or inconveniences. We marked birthdays, saw in the New Year, cooked kebabs together ... It was fun! But it happened when we were young – everything’s good in its season.

- Did you receive any calls today from someone you haven’t contacted or seen for a long while?
- Very pleasant were the kind words from everyone I used to play together with: Nikolai Fedorenko, Valeriy Rudakov, Vladimir Yurchenko, and some other guys. Shakhtar fans called me from abroad. Amazingly, those people have wished me a happy birthday or happy new year every time since 1975! I was really delighted at receiving their call today. This means that everything is fine and life goes on.

- You said in one interview as follows: Since age seven, I haven’t needed anything except football. Is football still on top of things for you these days?
- Yes, it is. To my surprise, I watch almost every football game. Sometimes, I even watch the first league: for personal knowledge and findings, just to keep abreast of the things. But I would put it like this: after all, the live experience is still different. Donbass Arena, the capacity crowd and big teams – that’s quite another thing.

- What do you make of this season’s Shakhtar?
- I’ve been to the base where the guys train. They have just one field there. But the Pitmen showcase good football, for which we must give the team, the head coach and the president their due. I do not think that somewhere else there is a club demonstrating such game quality and performance in this kind of situation. In terms of those two major indicators, Shakhtar clearly sit in the top spot, with everyone appreciating and acknowledging the fact.