Khocholava: Match in Odesa will be very interesting

Friday, July 14, 2017



Shakhtar’s new signing shared his impressions of his first month with the team

- Last season, number five belonged to Olexandr Kucher. What does this number mean to you?
- That’s my favourite number. When they came and asked me about the number I’d like to get, I initially asked all the defenders. No one was against it. It's an honour for me to appear in the number five shirt, which belonged to Olexandr Kucher – the true Shakhtar legend.

- Judging by what we’ve seen, you already feel at home in the team, joking a lot. Maybe you'll replace Taison in this regard?
- I don’t think so. The Brazilians show up, dance and sing. I'm not as jolly as they are!

- At Chornomorets you had a secure place in the starting line-up, while here you have to compete with the other guys. Do you realize that you’ll have to work harder?
- Of course I do. Even at Chornomorets, where I was the first team regular, I understood that in order to progress I need to work a lot. I’m not going to sit on my laurels and will try to become a Shakhtar regular.

- On the eve of the Ukrainian Super Cup tie, please tell us what you remember about Shakhtar and Dynamo from the time when you encountered them as a Chornomorets player?
- To be honest, for me personally it was always harder to play against the Miners. Dynamo operate differently, they drop deeper, while Shakhtar basically do everything through a passing game, through the players’ personal brilliance. In any case, the upcoming match in Odesa will be interesting. In Germany we prepared well, so it's interesting in what condition both opponents have approached the season.
- Is training very different from what you had at Chornomorets?
- Yes, it is. As I said, the pace is very different: everything is done much faster and more intensively.

- For the first time in a long while, Shakhtar’s centre-back won’t be a Ukrainian. Was there any talk on this topic in the team and how do you feel in this role?
- There were no jokes. I consider myself almost Ukrainian: I’ve resided here for three years now, and I perfectly speak Russian. But the very fact that Shakhtar haven’t signed any foreigners as a central defender is very pleasant.