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De Zerbi: ‘We woke up to explosions’

Italian coach Roberto De Zerbi is still in Ukraine and spoke about being awoken by explosions this morning. The 42-year-old head coach of Ukrainian Premier League club Shakhtar Donetsk spoke to Italpress about his experiences following Russia’s invasion today:

“I’m in the room, it’s a bad day. I waited a long time for the federation to suspend the championship, ever since what happened with Donbass… but I haven’t moved, because I’m here to play sports and I couldn’t turn my back on the championship, to the fans who follow us.

I have thirteen Brazilian boys, my staff, we could go home at least until there was security, but no, we waited, tonight the explosions woke us up.

This morning they suspended the championship and from the windows of the Opera hotel we saw rows of cars moving. I think they are going to Poland. The Italian Embassy had urged us to leave but I couldn’t turn my back on the club, to football and leave like this.

In the end they closed the airspace and we’re here.  I don’t think at least for now that we are at risk, I came here to play sports, really, and I arm myself with patience. I didn’t come for money, they offered me more in Italy.”

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