Blanco Leschuk: I want to surpass Luiz Adriano

Tuesday, January 24, 2017



Shakhtar forward answered journalists' questions during the presentation

- Good afternoon! I am very happy to be here and thank everyone who is working at the club. And, all I want to say, probably, I am going to say on the pitch. It is my goal.

- Gustavo, we noticed your love for figure eight. What does it mean to you? While at the training camp, you played with the No. 39 on your jersey. Why have not you immediately taken number 99?
- It was a kind of misunderstanding. Since my childhood, I liked the number 9. Since it is already occupied, I picked up two nines. I like the No. 99 too.

- Were you previously acquainted with your compatriot Facundo Ferreyra? Have you met with one another on the football pitch in Argentina?
- Yes, we had played against each other. We exchanged only a few words, so we knew each other not very well. When at the training camp in Spain, I realized that he is a wonderful person. We have good relations. As for our competition - it is only professional. And, I am very delighted that there is healthy competition between the two Argentines.

- In the first six months, in contrast to the autumn, you have scored not too often and they criticized you. Did not you think at that time that the Ukraine might be the wrong choice, being not your scene?
- Initially, when I came here, I liked training intensively to move eventually to a higher-level club. Now I intend to do my best to help Shakhtar. I want to surpass Luiz Adriano’s goal-scoring record.

- It is a very ambitious goal. However, with Paulo Fonseca being not present here, you can openly say how to work with him. Did you have enough time to get used to his requirements?
- In principle, yes, quite quickly. Day by day, I figure out better the mentor’s requirements. I work every day to thank the head coach later for giving me an opportunity to play.

- Shakhtar’s playing style and dynamics differ from the ones of Karpaty. Have you played for teams enjoying the ball possession this long? Do you think your duties will change here?
- While training at the camp, I had already understood that Shakhtar's playing style differs from the one of my previous club. Again, day by day I figure out better, what the head coach demands of us. It is really a major change, and there is a big difference. I understand that I am facing a difficult task requiring from me to do the utmost. However, as they say, nothing is impossible. I will try to produce the best results.

- There are many stereotypes regarding the relations between Argentines and Brazilians. What about you? Does your mentality correspond to the Brazilian one?
- When I joined Shakhtar, they put out the welcome mat for me. Everyone treated me well: Brazilians, Argentinians and Ukrainians. I can see that all the players are excellent persons. In course of time, I begin to understand that this club is like a family. I have a very good relationship with the Brazilians, and I feel happy with a hearty welcome here.

- Do you consider your performance at Shakhtar as a launching pad into the national team of Ukraine, given that the passport procedure in your case is expected to be fairly simplified?
- It would be a nice possibility for me to make the appearance for Ukraine, if I fail to get such a chance in my national team. The whole family would be happy if I could play for the domestic national team. This is something great for me in a football sense. I would be happy.

- In the top scorers’ list in the Ukrainian League, you are in step with Facundo. Is it crucially important for you to surpass him and claim this season’s top scorer award?
- Football is always a competition. I have a chance to beat, let’s say, an opponent who is, on top of that, also Argentine. I like always to be the first in terms of sports. If I can beat Facundo in the goal-scoring race, it will be my great pride. I will be working on it. However, the team and the competitions are one thing, and life off the pitch is another. We have a great relationship. I realize that Facundo thinks the same, and he would like to outdo me as well. It is a healthy competition, and we both will work hard.

- The Hispanics rarely live separately. Whom will you take along with you? Tell about your family.
- There are six of us, including my parents. I had the opportunity to stay here with my mom and dad for a while. At that time, I was happy and felt like in Argentina. I wish that someone from the family could join me and I was not alone here.

- You have not played in the European competitions. Will it be something special for you?
- In Argentina, I took part in the Copa Libertadores matches. Of course, the European competitions are very serious level. I would be happy, and the family would be happy for me. I will work hard and do everything possible to be at a sufficient level for participating in the European competitions.

- Gustavo, please set forth more clearly your position regarding the national team: if you receive two proposals from Argentina and Ukraine, which team are you going to play for?
- It is a rather difficult question. Getting invitations from the two national teams at the same time would be great for my career. However, at the moment, I cannot answer, because initially, I will discuss it with my family, which is of high importance for me.