Olexandr Karavayev: “It’s a great privilege to represent native country on international arena”

Olexandr Karavayev: “It’s a great privilege to represent native country on international arena”

FC Dynamo Kyiv defender Olexandr Karavayev has told about preparations for the Champions League qualification play-offs against SL Benfica.

- There’s one step left towards the Champions League group stage. What do you know about Benfica?

- They’ve got a significant enforcement and new coach. They’re very skillful team. We’ve already watched their games at the previous stage. We’ll be getting ready thoroughly. The last step is very important.

- How do current Benfica differ from the one you opposed last year?

- It’s hard to say. The first impression is that they’re very skillful and have their own style. Last season they played differently, so we’ll take this into account.

- Not only Dynamo fans, but the whole Ukraine, heroes defending our land, are looking forward to these matches…

- Of course we realize that. It’s really hard to take the field thinking of everything that’s going on in Ukraine. Of course good news are also numerous, but the word “war” is horrific and it’s impossible to keep it out of your mind. Still we understand that guys defending our land give us a chance to represent our native country on international arena which is a great privilege. So we must do even more than we can as our defenders and Motherland are having it much harder.

- A lot of Poles support Dynamo. They’re going to have a full house at the stadium in Lodz as you face Benfica…

- We’re incredibly grateful to the people of Poland as they help us and those, who had to leave their homes in Ukraine. Peace, friendship and humanity are above all. When we come to other countries, we always feel support.

-It must be your dream to play a Champions League match in peaceful Kyiv?

- Of course, that’s our biggest dream to wake up one day and to find out we won the war. When we see videos with our soldiers smiling, we have faith that everything will be all right. Low bow to all of them.

- Dynamo have very tight schedule these days. You had only one day off after the second leg against Sturm. Was it enough?

- We value what we have. As for the schedule, we got used to it. We know how to recondition and get ready properly.

- Two games against Benfica will be extremely difficult. What would you like to tell Ukrainians, who’re currently in Poland, so that they came to support the team?

- We see it in their eyes that they experience at least some positive emotions when they come to the stadium. You’re welcome to come and support our team. It means a lot to us. We promise we’ll do the best we can.

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