Oleksandr Zinchenko broke down in tears when calling for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to stop ahead of his side’s World Cup play-off game in Scotland.
Ukraine’s semi-final against Scotland was initially postponed due to the war, but goes ahead at Hampden Park on Wednesday, with the winners of the rescheduled match then facing Wales on Sunday for a place in Qatar.
The heightened emotions around the tie were evident when Zinchenko addressed the invasion in the pre-match press conference, and he could not hold back to tears when speaking of his desire to reach the World Cup for his compatriots back home.
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"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.
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"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."
Zinchenko, who wrapped the Premier League trophy in the Ukrainian flag when winning the title earlier this month, 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."
Scotland head coach Steve Clarke admitted the match will be played amid difficult circumstances, but stressed his side must focus on football when taking on Ukraine.
"We always said we would be guided by the Ukrainians as to how they felt," he said.
"They made a decision to get their football players out of the country and into a training camp to prepare for the game because they want to play, they want to try and give their nation a boost by qualifying for Qatar.
"The game goes ahead but still with the horrific outside influence, for us we focus on the game on football.
"Nothing but good thoughts and good wishes for them, except during the game."
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