Emotional Oleksandr Zinchenko breaks down on eve of Ukraine’s World Cup play-off with Scotland

Oleksandr Zinchenko breaks down at an emotional press conference

Oleksandr Zinchenko burst into tears at an emotional press conference on the eve of Ukraine’s World Cup play-off against Scotland.

The semi-final was delayed after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February and tonight’s match will be the country’s first competitive fixture since, with Zinchenko vowing to give those back home “incredible emotions”.

“Every Ukrainian wants one thing – to stop this war,” said Zinchenko. “I spoke to people from different countries, all over the world and I spoke to some Ukrainian kids who just don’t understand what’s happening back in Ukraine.

“They only want the war to stop. They have one dream to stop the war.

“When it comes to football, the team, we have our own dream. We want to go to the World Cup, want to give these incredible emotions to the Ukrainians because they deserve it so much at this very moment.”

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Zinchenko was answering questions alongside Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov when he broke down ahead of the match at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

The Manchester City midfielder also thanked Scotland’s players and staff for their reception, with plans for song sheets to be distributed around the stadium so home fans can join in Ukraine’s national anthem.

Zinchenko added: “I would like to say as well that a lot of countries maybe don’t understand that – today it is Ukraine but tomorrow it can be you. So that’s why we need to be united and need to defeat aggression altogether.

“I am sure that the whole of Ukraine will be watching us. We will feel the support.

“We can talk a lot, but we need to prove everything on the field. We will try to make our people happy and proud.”

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