Oleksandr Zinchenko invites 10-year-old Ukrainian boy to Manchester City training
Oleksandr Zinchenko has invited a 10-year-old aspiring footballer to train at Manchester City after he was forced to flee Ukraine.
The defender shared photos from the uplifting session with ‘Andriy’ on his Instagram page on Monday. The youngster is one of millions of children to have fled his homeland amid the Russian invasion.
Zinchenko said he dreams of turning professional one day, just like the City defender. The 25-year-old, along with fellow countrymen Andriy Yarmolenko of West Ham and Vitalii Mykolenko of Everton, have frequently reiterated their desire for peace in their homeland.
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All three received emotional receptions on football pitches in the weeks following the start of the invasion on February 24. More than 19,500 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK since, including Andriy.
Writing on his Instagram post, Zinchenko said: “This is Andriy. He is 10 years old. Today he is already safe.
“Like most Ukrainians, he and his family were forced to flee their homes because of the war. There are still 75 days, this boy dreamed of becoming a footballer and trained without worries with his team.
“Today he only dreams of one thing: peace in our country. About peace. About normal life at home.
He continued: “It hurts me very much that because of the war in Russia, there are many children like Andriy in Ukraine today. Deprived of childhood, and even worse – of life.
“I believe that the day of our Ukrainian victory will come soon. And all children will be able to relive their carefree childhood, full of children’s dreams and positive emotions, which today, for a few minutes, Andriy could feel during the training session.
Zinchenko has 48 caps for Ukraine and is set to feature in his country’s World Cup play-off against Scotland next month. If successful, they will face Wales in the final for a place at Qatar 2022.
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