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