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Monday, October 18, 2021



Shakhtar head coach Roberto De Zerbi spoke before the Champions League match vs Real Madrid about Matviienko's injury, playing options, Carlo Ancelotti's experience and expectations from the opponents

- Today we did not see Mykola Matviienko in training. What happened to him? And in what state did Dentinho return? (Espreso TV)

- Matviienko has a leg imjury - he won’t be present tomorrow. Dentinho has already started training with us, he will be in reserve, and then we'll see how the match develops.


- What worries you the most before the game? (Sport-Arena)

- How can I not worry before the match against Real Madrid? Only an unwise person wouldn’t worry. I hope I'm smart enough. The major thing is to see our progress, how we have improved our level. That’s more important than just the result.


- Your team are trying to control the ball and impose their terms, but tomorrow your opponents are Real Madrid with the strong midfield. Are you planning to play physically or should we expect some more cautious, counterattacking football? (

- It depends. In such cases, there are two options: to play either defensively, or have possession of the ball which is also a defensive phase. Let's see how it will be and what we will show. But we have a clear idea of what we should do.


- Have you analyzed last year's matches against Real Madrid? Maybe you have consulted with Luis Castro? And what result will be acceptable for you - a win or a draw? (Kyivskyi Futbol)

- I ddin’t analyse it and didn’t talk to Castro. Of course, I watched those matches. I think it would be wrong to compare how Shakhtar played last season and how they play this season. A lot has changed - both for us and for Real. The most important thing is to look at our progress, how we have improved our level, especially in such matches against the strong teams in Europe. As for the second part of the question, there are also defeats in football. We'll see tomorrow how we play and what the result will be.


- I’d ike to ask if it’s possible to win against Real through joga bonito, but the answer to this question was given earlier. Your play is associated with Pep Guardiola's tiki-taka. How do you see it, do you really think this is the same play? Is this style present in modern football, where often, as in the case of Chelsea, the role of strength and muscle is greater? (As)

- It depends on how we look at football. It's always something interesting. I actually think that teams usually display the philosophy of coaches. My philosophy adapts very well to the philosophy of my players, because we have many skilful performers who can show my principles of play on the field. But there may be a different style, like Chelsea’s, with many players who, as you said, have muscles.


- They already asked Carlo Ancelotti to describe you. Now we would like to hear a few words from you about your counterpart. And how do you like Real Madrid under Ancelotti? What do you expect from this match? Both of you are Italians. Perhaps there’s something else that you have in common? (

- Carlo Ancelotti has made a great contribution to the history of Italian football both as a player and as a coach. For us, Italian coaches, Ancelotti is a maestro. Many people look up at him, at the way he trains. He has shown that he can coach strong teams at the highest level. What do I expect? That Real will show their football, because Madrid also love to play well. I don’t think they came here not to attack. I think they want to show here exactly how they know how to attack and show their football.


- You met with Carlo Ancelotti in the Italian league. What are your memories after those matches? Do you have a feeling that the matter has not been completed and that you want to beat this opponent as a coach of Real Madrid now? (TK Futbol 1/2/3)

- The coach’s work should always show something. Yes, our teams have already locked horns when Ancelotti worked with Napoli. If we did not win, maybe it happened because Napoli are strong opponents. But I believe that we should not view the upcoming match as Ancelotti versus De Zerbi. The only thing you can know in this case: two Italian coaches, the Italian coaching school. It’s more correct to look from this point of view.


- Who will compensate for the absence of Traore this time? Do you keep in mind the option of Dentinho who has pretty good statistics in the matches against Real Madrid? (Ukrinform)

- I already understood this question even without speaking Ukrainian. I think it’s wrong now to say who will play. We have four options: Fernando, Dentinho, Sikan and Pedrinho. I have some bright ideas - I will take a decision. But I have already given you four options, so I can say that I helped you in a way. You have a 25% chance to guess it right.


- Castro managed to beat Real Madrid twice. Do you have such a thing in your head as beating Real? (Espreso TV)

- Last season, Shakhtar beat Real twice and twice drew with Inter. Therefore, we can say that Shakhtar played very and very well in the Champions League group stage. But this season is a completely different story. Many things have changed at Shakhtar, at Inter and at Real. Of course, as a coach, I would like us to have defeated Sheriff and Inter. Let's see how it develops tomorrow against Real Madrid.


- Will Ismaily play tomorrow?

- Yes, he will. If Ismaily did not play, it was only because of last season’s injury and fitness issues. I consider Ismaily to be part of our starting lineup.