Brazil’s Da Silva wants Shakhtar football club to re­turn to Donetsk home

Kyiv Post - - Business - BY I LYA TIMTCHENKO [email protected] Kyiv Post staff writer Ilya Timtchenko can be reached at [email protected] com.

The 32-year-old for­ward of one of Ukraine’s top football clubs Shakhtar Donetsk, Ed­uardo Da Silva finds it dif­fi­cult not to be play­ing in his club’s home city of Donetsk. Rus­sia’s war against Ukraine pushed his team out, and now they play on the op­po­site side of the coun­try – in Lviv – dur­ing their home games.

“It’s not easy to adapt to the big change from your city to another city,” Silva says. “It’s very dif­fi­cult to play be­cause we are trav­el­ling more, we don’t have a sta­dium.”

Right now Shakhtar plays its home games at Lviv’s Lviv Arena sta­dium. The team’s meet­ings of­ten take place at the Opera Ho­tel in Kyiv, whereas their train­ing ground is a 25-minute drive out­side of the cap­i­tal. “It’s not the same like in Donetsk,” Silva says.

But the main dis­cour­age­ment is los­ing the spirit of sup­port­ers dur­ing their games. “I don’t like play­ing the games in empty sta­di­ums,” Silva says.

But other than the lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges, Ed­uardo is thank­ful to be play­ing in Ukraine since Shakhtar is a top club for him, for which he has been play­ing for 4 years.

“In Brazil, nor­mally when you are born the first gift that you get if you are boy is a ball,” Silva says. That gift be­came a se­ri­ous in­vest­ment for him at the age of six when he started to take football se­ri­ously. At the age of 16 the young Brazil­ian moved to Croa­tia play­ing for Di­namo in Za­greb, Croa­tia. Through­out his ca­reer Silva also played for Croa­tia’s In­ter, Brazil’s Fla­mengo and Eng­land’s Ar­se­nal.

“Ev­ery Brazil­ian player wants to play in a big club in Europe like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Mi­lan, Manch­ester,” Silva says. “For me, Shakhtar is a big club from Ukraine; in Europe ev­ery club re­spects Shakhtar.”

Shakhtar has another nine Brazil­ian football play­ers. But the 10 don’t get to­gether that of­ten dur­ing free time since all have fam­i­lies and busy train­ing sched­ules. Silva, who has a Croa­t­i­aBrazil dual cit­i­zen­ship, is mar­ried to a Croa­t­ian and has a son and a daugh­ter. The fam­ily’s life is di­vided be­tween three coun­tries – Croa­tia, Brazil and Ukraine.

Ed­uardo Da Silva meets with the Kyiv Post at the Opera Ho­tel in Kyiv on Sept. 24. (Volodymyr Petrov)

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