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Kobin: I will proudly recall my years at Shakhtar

Friday, June 2, 2017



In an interview to shakhtar.com, the defender shared his memories of the time spent in the team, and also addressed Shakhtar fans

- Vasyl, eight years at Shakhtar, 16 trophies – you’ve got something to remember, something to be proud of?
- The best years of my career have passed at the club. Many seasons, many titles. Of course, with pride and joy I will remember the time. I remember how in May 2009, in Lviv, I watched the UEFA Cup final on TV, rooting and being happy for Shakhtar together with the whole Ukraine. But back then, I couldn’t even think that a month later I would find myself in the Donetsk team. I am happy that this turn has happened in my life and that I’ve spent eight years here.

- The teammates jokingly call you a mascot, because your birthday – May 24 – coincides with the day of foundation of Shakhtar. What’s your take on it?
- That’s a really interesting coincidence, even, one might say, fate. Funnily, with my appearance at the club, we became champions five times in five years, and when I left on loan in 2015, the team was left without gold medals. And then the guys said: Vasya, come back! Because we can’t win without you. But that’s, of course, a joke, it was just a coincidence. Until 2014, we played at the Donbass Arena, feeling the incredible support of the stands. Be it a league game, the Cup one, the Champions League one or the friendly one – the stadium has always been filled, the atmosphere was excellent, the people sincerely supported the team and worried about them. This gave us confidence, and Shakhtar beat any opponents at the Donbass Arena.

- You’ve won 16 trophies with the Miners, including six championships. Which title was the most outstanding and memorable?
- The most memorable was the title in the 2011/12 season. There was a tight competition between us and Dynamo for the whole year, with the intensity remaining until the closing rounds. In the spring, we lagged behind by a few points, but at the very finish we pulled out the championship. But every title, every Cup and Super Cup is the result of hard work. The whole team work for the entire year in training, and play to make the fans happy with the title. There wasn’t a single award that we got easily. Any trophy is unique and unforgettable.

- This season, with the new coach Paulo Fonseca at the helm, FC Shakhtar have claimed a ‘golden double’. What’s the recipe for success?
- The whole team really wanted to help Paul Fonseca to successfully start his way at the club. Therefore, we worked hard and adopted his ideas. Many things have changed in the training process and in the play. Shakhtar have become more pragmatic and reliable defensively. Fonseca initially told us that his first objective was to establish the defensive performance. Throughout the year, we paid much attention to that in training. And the results show that the Miners are on the right track.

- Are there any words that you want to address to the club and Shakhtar fans?
- I’d like to thank everyone, starting from the president Rinat Akhmetov, who implemented this project and built a strong club. Thanks to the management, the coaching staff, all the employees. Thanks to the medical service, which helped us avoid injuries and quickly recover. I want to thank all the football players and partners for those years – they will always remain my friends. Over many years, we’ve been one big family, and I will always be happy to meet them again. And, of course, I want to thank all the fans for the excellent support and wonderful emotions that they gave us. Thiose are fans from Donetsk, Donbass, along with the team fans throughout Ukraine. In recent years, we have won the hearts of many people throughout the country. I wish Shakhtar good luck for the future, I wish them many victories, cups and trophies. And I am sure that the Miners will again achieve the European club cup triumph.