Thu 31 March 2022 | 19:45

Ukranian refugee player trains with Man City after fleeing from Moscow

Oleks Zinchenko's former youth teammate has been invited to train for the Premier League champs to preserve his fitness.

Manchester City

is assisting in the training of a Ukrainian refugee player who left Moscow when his nation was invaded by Russia. 

When his nation was invaded,

Andrii Kravchuk

, a former youth teammate of City defender

Oleksandr Zinchenko

, was starring for Torpedo Moscow in the Russian second division. 

After his contract was canceled, the 23-year-old was offered the opportunity to train with the club's top development team in order to retain his shape and fitness. 

Kravchuk was in Turkey for a pre-season training camp when his mother called him at 5 a.m. to inform him that Russia had begun bombing Ukraine.

His family has stayed in Kyiv, the capital, with his brother serving in the military services of his nation. 

Following authorization from the UK administration, the Football Association, and the

Premier League

, he was permitted to train with Manchester City. 

On Thursday, the former Ukraine under-17 and under-21 international trained at City's Etihad Campus for the first time. 

“I am so grateful to Manchester City for giving me this chance to train with them,” he said. "I haven’t seen Oleks for a while but he has always been helpful for me – even going back to when we were together at Shakhtar. We’ve had a chat and I’m really happy to be here with him.

“The past few weeks and months have been so difficult, but to be back on the pitch means so much to me.

"There were nice people around me at the club but I was playing in a country that invaded my homeland. Leaving the club was the only decision. People in Ukraine would not understand me if I continued to play there."

More than a decade ago, Kravchuk and the Ukraine skipper met at Shakhtar Donetsk's development program when they were 11 and 13. 

“While I wish the circumstances were very different, it has been good to be back with Andrii,” Zinchenko said.

“I know how much football means to him, and how it can help us during these difficult times. I would like to thank my club for giving him the opportunity to train with us.”

Zinchenko, who has received widespread praise for his efforts, has spoken about his inability to grasp the invasion and how he wishes he could return to his homeland to help in the battle.


source: SportMob

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