Grachov: My soul is with Shakhtar

Saturday, September 17, 2016



Today, September 17, Viktor Grachov turns 60. On this day, we wish him - one of the most exciting players in the history of Shakhtar - great health, happiness, success and prosperity

– Happy birthday to you, Mr. Grachov! In your career, you moved to other clubs three times, but always came back to Donetsk. What does Shakhtar mean to you?
– Of course, for me it's more than just a team. Any guy from the Donetsk Oblast, who played football since childhood, wanted to play for Shakhtar. My whole life was tied around it. That's why I always came back, and not just because, but for my soul. I came and looked even stronger on the pitch than before. This club has always been in my heart, especially considering the fact that my father had worked in the mine for 30 years. I did not want to go anywhere else! Yemets and Zhizdik in Luzhniki tried to persuade me to go from Spartak to Dnipro. Lobanovsky - to Dynamo. But I wanted to play in Donetsk, because I had become attached to this club. As long as I'm alive, my soul will always be with Shakhtar. I support the team as a fan, getting upset after a loss and rejoicing after a win.

– You have worked as an expert on Futbol 1 and Futbol 3 TV channels for many years. What are your thoughts, when there is an analysis of the Pitmen's matches?
– My principle is always be objective. When a fan watches TV, he needs an actual and impartial assessment. If Shakhtar are showing good game, why can't I praise the players and the coaching staff? I will do it. But if the team have flaws - I will say it on the air, and in an interview to the press. When there are problems in the organization or questions regarding the line-up, I express my opinion and say it as it is.

– What is your opinion of today's Shakhtar? Is it interesting for you to watch Paulo Fonseca in our football?
– When Mircea Lucescu started working, for two years people treated new demands with caution and examined the set-up of the game. It was only later that the team really revealed themselves, and everyone believed in Lucescu. Fonseca should be given time for calm work. It is not easy, because everyone understands that there is the League and European competitions, where a club like Shakhtar must always produce great results. Now Paulo is dealing with the line-up and partially rebuilding the team. It is important to retain the good, add your vision and get the footballers to understand it.