Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhalo Mudryk believes football is “more than a game” for the people of Ukraine amid the war with Russia, while adding he is open to a move to England in the future.
The 21-year-old has caught the eye in the Champions League, scoring twice in as many matches to help his side defeat RB Leipzig 4-1 and draw with Celtic in Glasgow.
Shakhtar’s matches in the Champions League are being played in Poland following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, with the nation also playing host to Ukraine’s Nations League clash against Scotland on Tuesday.
Mudryk believes these fixtures are important to those who remain affected by the war and that football can make people smile.
“We must adapt because we don’t have a choice. We must play because it is our work, but every day we’re thinking about our Ukrainian soldiers and our Ukrainian people,” he told The Times.
“I am very proud to be Ukrainian. The spirit of our country is high because in this war we can always see the great spirit of Ukraine. I feel that football is more than a game at the moment for the people of Ukraine.
“In this situation, we have a lot of sad moments, and football is one of the things that make Ukrainian people smile. We play to bring a smile on our people’s faces.”
On the prospect of moving to the Premier League in the future, Mudryk admitted it is something that may be on the agenda.
“Yes, yes, it is possible. The Premier League is the best league in the world and everyone wants to play in this league,” he added.