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Marlos: We dedicate all our wins to the fans

Tuesday, June 20, 2017



In an exclusive interview to shakhtar.com, the Donetsk team’s midfielder summed up the results of the past season

- Marlos, the fans have recognized you as Shakhtar Player of the 2016/17 Season. What does this victory mean to you?
- Certainly, it pleases me and motivates me to work even harder. It's delightful that Shakhtar fans have picked me. We dedicate all our goals and victories primarily to our fans.

- What were the three key games last season, according to you?
- The first one – an away game against Young Boys, when we lost and failed to advance to the Champions League group stage. I suppose after that failure the team rallied, became even stronger, and showed that we are one family. The second encounter – with Dynamo Kyiv last December. It was tough back then. Terrible weather, especially for us, the Hispanics. It’s enormously hard to play in such conditions. Thanks to that victory, we managed to extend the lead over Dynamo. And the third one is a turning point for me personally, - it was the Ukrainian Cup final. Back then, I failed to score an important goal from the spot, but rehabilitated myself at the end. It was a very emotional moment.

- There also was a duel vs Karpaty, in which Shakhtar were losing 0-2 after the first half, but having shown character, they managed to clinch the win. Do you remember the events of that meeting?
- I believe that football gives us lessons and certain warnings. It was a tough period for us – just after the failure against Young Boys. We got off to a complacent start, but after the break we woke up and showed our character. We showed that we have a close-knit team and that we can succeed. I appeared in the second half, went out to warm-up at half-time, not being aware of the developments in the dressing room. I think Paulo was angry with the lads and gave them a hairdryer treatment. In my opinion, sometimes you need to bring the players into an adequate state. As a result, the team reversed the game and won it.

- The Orange-and-Blacks seriously prepared for the encounter with Celta and made a good reserve in the first away leg, beating the Spaniards through the goal by Blanco Leschuk. What prevented the Miners from advancing to the next round?
- In that meeting we were pursued by some bad luck. We performed very well in Vigo, returned to Kharkiv for the second leg, without any luck though. We lost, trying to give our all though. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Basically, Celta were better that evening. This was one of the few meetings, where the opponents looked better. We have a different style of play from other teams, trying to control the ball, but the Spaniards didn’t allow us to take advantage of our strengths. The opponents dominated possession. Nevertheless, that’s football. We understood the importance of the meeting, and had success been on our side, Shakhtar would’ve gone far in that Europa League edition.

- Winning the title early with a big advantage over the major rivals, playing away from the home stadium and the city, is a unique achievement. What helped you to attain that result?
- Over the entire league season, we suffered just two losses. Look at the statistics – the numbers speak for themselves. This proves once again that we are on the right track. We have great coaching staff, great players. When Shakhtar are on top of form, being fully motivated, it’s next to impossible to beat the team in Ukraine.

- How did your teammates and you perceive the change of mentor at the beginning of the season? What was your impression of PaulFonsecа?
- It was a very difficult transition period. Of course, I also worried, because Mircea Lucescu had been the head coach for so many years, he knew how everything worked here. However, when the new specialist arrived, we had time to analyze everything, to understand his traits, his work. Now I can say just the best things about Paulo Fonseca. I respect him not only as a mentor, as a professional, but also as an individual with a big heart.

- What has the Portuguese specialist changed in training, in everyday life of Shakhtar?
- We already had a close-knit team, because the club employs great professionals who know their craft. Paulo is a very calm person who keeps everything under control. Thanks to him we are a single team, with everyone supporting one another and wanting to achieve a common goal. Currently, the team have a fantastic atmosphere, where love and harmony reign.

- In the match against Zorya Shakhtar claimed the league title. What apprehensions did you experience on the match day?
- Back then, from early morning I thought about claiming the title on the same day. I didn’t even think about anything else. We needed a victory back then - and it happened just like that.

- The players were very happy with the success and celebrated it brightly...
- When you win such a title, when you achieve the goal you’ve been striving for the whole year, you always get happy. You look around and see all the people working on that task. At such a moment, the emotions just go off scale and it's hard to restrain yourself from enjoying it.