We have a bright future

Sunday, May 20, 2018



FC Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov gave an exclusive interview to Velykyi Futbol programme on the Futbol 1 channel

We bring you all topics of the conversation.
About Paulo Fonseca
- Many clubs in Europe these days are interested in Paulo and want him to lead their teams. That’s very important. And this means that over the two years, we must carry out some quality work together in order to have trophies in our hands, and the performance quality should deserve respect as viewed by the fans and experts, as viewed by everyone. The FC Shakhtar has good management: they told me that it’s necessary to rely on Paulo. We did it - we won. Paulo won, Shakhtar won, I won, the fans won. All have won, and that's very cool. And I want to win on.
About Ukrainian league
- The plot remained virtually to the last round - that's very good. I like that we always learn the champions in the last round and that Shakhtar necessarily claims that championship. There were difficulties and obstacles. But most importantly, the gold and the cup are in our hands. I want to congratulate everyone on this fact. After the winter, Shakhtar played just superbly. Looking at the way the team played after the winter, I want to say that this was, perhaps, even one of the best Shakhtars over the entire history. We played poorly just one league game vs Dynamo Kyiv. That was not the Shakhtar I’m used to see. And we played all the games at the highest level. This also applies to the Cup final. The class of our team is visible.
About trophies
- We’ve already won 12 Cups, Dynamo have 11 ones. I like this. Dynamo have some more championships than we do, but we’ve started competing. For the first ten years, Dynamo, probably, did not face any competition. Then it appeared, and, it seems to me, we gradually began to win trophies either. We have the UEFA Cup, while Dynamo don’t have such a Cup.
About Champions League
- Napoli, Manchester City, Feyenoord – that’s a group of death. They said that Shakhtar already needed to go to the cemetery. But Shakhtar did not take the road they had advised. Shakhtar passed the group stage, decently represented our club, our fans, our country in the Champions League, advanced to the round of 16 and played two great games against Roma. And everyone says: What a pity. How unfair that is. Why didn’t Shakhtar advance any further? I think that in the Champions League we played even better than in the Ukrainian championship.
- Why is that, according to you?
- The performance quality. Please watch the first half of our away game against Manchester City. Very well. This indicates that our team has a huge potential. Our team is strong, our players are strong, the coach is strong, the coaching staff are strong, and the club is ambitious. And I’m convinced that we have a bright future.
About working for the result

- I want to congratulate all our fans on winning the gold medals of the Ukrainian championship and the Cup. And I want to say a huge thank you to everyone. To the fans, above all, to the coaching staff headed by Paulo Fonseca and to our entire football family: Sergei Palkin, the masseurs, the medical department, the scouts. We have a big family. And every day, every hour, every minute, every second they work to mind the gold. Many thanks to everyone, a huge merit of everyone is in those medals.
About Dynamo and Ihor Surkis
- This club is in good hands. My colleague Ihor Mykhailovych Surkis invests a lot of his soul and money in it. This year, I will mark 22 years as the club owner, and for 22 years we have had a fierce competition. We saw some people starting, some other people: today they have financed it, and tomorrow they have abandoned it. While he doesn’t abandon it. He at least keeps this club, doing everything that can be done, he has some huge ambitions. This deserves great respect. And when someone starts talking that they want to sell it or that the club needs a new owner ... For me, Dynamo Kyiv means Surkis, and Surkis means Dynamo Kyiv. I believe that the club is in reliable, quality hands, and this club deserves great respect. And we are pleased to be the major rivals of this great club. We have very good relations. I haven’t seen him for a long time, but we have very good, respectful, friendly relations.
- Dynamo lost three points after not going to Mariupol. Perhaps in this whole story, the title race plot got lost?
- They could afford such a luxury, while we can’t afford it. If they are not going somewhere else in the next championship, this is their right, this is their choice. But we will definitely respect the opponents. We respect the regulations, and we will definitely go to any fields.
About the situation before the game vs Veres
- That's dirty football tricks, which is no good for our championship. I'm a big opponent of dirty football tricks. I’ve been the club owner for 22 years and have never encountered such a thing. Someone told me: This is to make it against Shakhtar. I say: but what connection does Shakhtar have to this, tell me, please? You came for the game, and someone else, say, turned around and left. Why Shakhtar? And tomorrow they will say: Let's sort out our relationships not in the rooms, not in the courts, but on the field. But why did you run away from the field? We came to play, but you are not. By doing so, you want in advance that this gets to the courts. But it seems to me that it’s necessary to give their due to the players, the coaching staff, and the managers who made the decision, - all returned and, I want to say, played this match to the highest standards. I've been watching Veres for the last month - in my opinion, this was their best performance. And, it seems to me, now they need to do it more often – to travel so much to deliver such quality performance.
About Zorya, Yurii Vernydub and Yevhen Geller
- Vernydub is an emotional person. He could say something, and then he comes home and analyses it. If he said something wrong - probably, he himself is ashamed of what he’d said wrong. I hold no grudge. I have good relations with Geller. He always called me, even after the match when we won 2-1, congratulated me after the Cup final, and on the championship. That is, we have good, respectful relationship. He's doing fine, he does a lot. And those who can’t restrain their emotions, I think, should learn to restrain them. Those who have learned to say bad words and make bad comparisons, it seems to me that they themselves must muster courage and bring thousands of apologies instead of justifying their mistakes, and not to show their stupidity anymore.
About Darijo Srna
- Darijo is a great man, a great captain, a great player. He did a great lot for Shakhtar, and we must thank him for that. At the same time, we bought the young Dodo so that he would progress and very much help the club in the future. At the same time, we see that our young Danchenko, being on loan at Anji, performed really well this season. And, it seems to me, he should also try himself at Shakhtar. After the winter, Butko felt confident and, it seems to me, significantly helped us to win trophies - both in the championship and in the Cup. We need to give the guys the opportunity to compete. Which path will Dario choose? If he has the strength and feels the opportunity to still play somewhere, we always treat him with respect. If he wants to try himself at the club - our door is always open, our heart is always open to Darijo.
About Fred
- You know that we had negotiations with Manchester City this winter, and there was an official offer - a very big figure. They offered us around 50 million euros for Fred. And we had enough strength to reject it, because we were playing in the Champions League, we were finishing the Ukrainian League campaign. We won the championship and the Cup - in principle, our decision was correct. And I am convinced that we will receive and are receiving no less interesting proposals than that from Manchester City.
- But you didn’t specify the figure for which you would be ready to let him go.
- We'll get exactly the amount he costs. We can’t get a dollar if the player costs 50 cents. We don’t want to sell him for 50 cents if the football player costs a dollar. This will be a market price, the fair price, and it will be beneficial both for the club inviting Fred and for us. That is, I can somewhat feel that Fred will be more expensive than Fernandinho and Teixeira.
- How did you feel two years ago that he could be even better than the then Manchester City star Fernandinho?
- Probably, I used to have a good intuition, while recently I’ve got a running nose - I can’t feel it anymore. If Fred and Taison won Brazil caps and go to the World Cup, this indicates that Shakhtar has gathered some very strong and quality players. Why are they going? Because they know that they will come here, help us, create a name for themselves and tomorrow will be at the world’s best clubs.
About Facundo Ferreyra
- Facundo is a very strong player. He helped us very much, and there’s a great merit of his in every trophy. There was a time when he played for us, did not play - as a rule, he did not play. And this footballer, maybe, did not fully feel the self-confidence. I remember when Paulo requested me: I want to ask that Facundo stays at Shakhtar. And then it was about sending Ferreyra on loan. I think that Facundo thanked Paulo and thanked Shakhtar. At the same time, both Shakhtar and Paulo did a lot for Ferreyra. Today everyone knows that he’s a very strong striker, who scores very important goals. If Facundo leaves, then Shakhtar will be stronger. Shakhtar will, as always, dominate the pitch in the league and look very decently in Europe. Don’t doubt it, please.
- Bernard and Ferreyra are leaving - being the rarest case, when the club doesn’t sell but releases players after the expiration of the contracts ...
- Because there is a contract. We respect the contracts, and the players respect the contract. If it’s over and we haven’t reached a new agreement, then civilized rules come into force. The player is a free agent and has the right to choose. We respect those rules.
- And some clubs just put a football player on the bench, send him to the reserve team, don’t allow him to attend training sessions half a year before the expiration of the contract ...
- We are the football club Shakhtar. And this means only civilized rules. We respect the football players who signed a contract with us and give their all. And I want to say that we always have a two-way street. The footballers appreciate the club - we appreciate the players. Therefore, we won’t deal with any dirty tricks.
About transfer plans
- We will spend a minimum, but we will play dearly. Who shall we invite? Those who we need. Yesterday we had a long conversation with Paulo Fonseca, we talked about the future of Shakhtar, about the staffing. Perhaps, Danchenko should return. Totovytskyi at least deserved such respect - to compete for a place in the starting XI. I think we need to have a look at Bolbat. If necessary, we will make another transfer - the club has the money to make it. If Fred leaves, then we basically understand who can come to take this role. It will be a young and very strong Brazilian player.
- Is the club interested in signing up Kayode?
- We had a word with Paulo: he likes this player, and so do I. I think we will fulfill this transfer. This is Shakhtar 2018, not the 1999-2000 one. You see, these days we buy players, we make investments, we invite them to our team. If the player is progressing, the best clubs in Europe and the world get interested in him and pay us some huge amounts of money. Why should we refuse? And why should we deprive the football player of, maybe, a beautiful future? On the contrary, we must make this transfer and new investments, which again will bring us huge benefits. We must look not only in front of our feet, but also a bit further. We have learnt this: to mind our step, and to look somewhere else as well. Please pay attention that for four years now you have been telling me that Shakhtar sells, sells, and sells. But what about Shakhtar, how will Shakhtar do? And today you don’t ask me that kind of question. Why? Because you yourself know the answer that Shakhtar was, is and will be. We have an ambitious club that will set itself the highest goals, and we will confidently move towards our goal - to win, win and once again win. And all that will be done for our fans.