Ukraine: Playing for more than just football

Ukraine: Playing for more than just football

Says Sergei Rebrov, coach of the Ukrainian national team CNN Sports The team realizes that football is not the most important thing in the motherland now.

– I believe that our successful performance will have a positive impact in Ukraine, says Rebrov.

The coach says that after the war happened, it was not only about the outcome of the matches that they thought about, but also to show Europe its true character.

After Ukraine secured its place in the European Championship, its president Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the team for not giving up, but continuing to fight, CNN reported.

Here you can read all about the war in Ukraine!

Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines also reportedly sent messages about how proud they were of the team's performance, according to Rebrov.

Sergei Rebrov has been coaching the Ukraine national team since 2023. Photo: Reuters/NTB

Sergey Rebrov has been coaching the Ukraine national team since 2023. Photo: Reuters/NTB

hard mission

Rebrov says that leading the team during wartime was a difficult task, but it was not as difficult as the soldiers faced.

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The Ukrainian national team coach says he sometimes shows players messages and videos sent from the offensive line. Some of these videos are of children whose lives have been affected by war.

The videos lasted a few minutes, and of course the players cried. But when you watch these videos, you go out on the field with a different motivation, Rebrov tells CNN.

Despite the war and the heavy losses, Rebrov knows that sports are not the most important thing in Ukraine, but that sports still have a big role in the war effort.

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– The most important thing is to win the war and rebuild the country, says Rebrov.

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Bombing day and night

Ukrainian star Mykhailo Modric says, in a video clip, published by the Ukrainian Football Federation, that his city of Krasnograd has been bombed with missiles day and night since the beginning of the war, and he wrote BBC.

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“My parents live there and live their lives there, and they always believed in a Ukrainian victory,” says Modryk.

Mykhajlo Modric says his hometown was bombed during the war against Russia.  Photo: Reuters/NTB

Mykhajlo Modric says his hometown was bombed during the war against Russia. Photo: Reuters/NTB

Former Ukrainian football player Andriy Shevchenko says that Ukrainian cities really want to host the European Championship, but they are now fighting for freedom, not for the championship.

– There are no footballers, city, stadium, stadium or children in Ukraine who have not been affected by the war, says Shevchenko, who is also the president of the Ukrainian Football Federation.

Ukraine will play its first match in the European Championship on Monday against Romania, before later facing Belgium and Slovakia.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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