Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brazilian footballers leave Ukraine amid tense armed conflict



Brazilian footballers leave Ukraine amid tense armed conflict

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian defender Marlon (centre) and teammates take part in a training session at the club’s training ground outside Kyiv on the eve of their football match against Real Madrid on October 18, 2021. AFP

Brazilian footballers leave Ukraine amid tense armed conflict

A contingent of largely Brazilian football players and their families have managed to leave Ukraine after the Russian military offensive, one of the country’s top clubs Shakhtar Donetsk said on Monday.

The group had been hunkered down in a Kyiv hotel basement before their flight overland into Moldova and then Romania, where many of them posted on social media expressing relief and horror.

“Shaktar’s Brazilian players [they have 13 in their squad] have left the country,” the club said, adding that other foreign Ukraine-based stars from Dynamo Kyiv had gone with them.

“After a 16-hour journey we have crossed the Ukraine border and are on our way to Bucharest, where we will fly to Brazil,” Matheus Assaf, the agent of Shakhtar player Vinicius Tobias, said.

The agent thanked Ukraine and Moldova’s football federations, as well as UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin for making their flight possible.

Shaktar’s Italian coach Roberto De Zerbi posted a video of himself and his coaching staff on Instagram saying they were happy to be home.

“But so long as our Ukrainian players and our Ukrainian friends are not as free as us, we can never be truly happy,” De Zerbi said.

Dynamo’s Uruguayan winger Carlos de Pena described a stressful week.

He said he was woken up just before 5am local time on February 24 “by the sound of planes and bombs exploding in Kyiv”.

“Peace ended and the nightmare began. I saw the desperation of people in the streets, queues for the supermarkets and cash points, and people fleeing to the border.”

De Pena, Brazilian teammate Vitinho and other Brazilians took shelter in a hotel basement.

He said on Friday: “You could feel the explosions close by, civilians started dying and the fear grew.”

He was part of a group that escaped by train towards Romania and managed to cross the border into Moldova.

“I was very afraid and hid to cry several times to put on a brave face and not show others my desperation.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’