Ilya Zabarny: "Duel with Lukaku? I will gladly accept this challenge. I am confident in myself"

2024-06-25 17:14 Defender of thenational team ofUkraine Ilya Zabarny in an interview with the official website of UEFA ... Ilya Zabarny: "Duel with Lukaku? I will gladly accept this challenge. I am confident in myself"
25.06.2024, 17:14

Defender of thenational team ofUkraine Ilya Zabarny in an interview with the official website of UEFA spoke about the game of the national team at Euro 2024, and also shared expectations from the decisive match of the group round against Belgium.

Ilya Zabarny. Photo: Getty Images

About the match with Slovakia

Everyone understood how important this game was, especially after the defeat against Romania. We made conclusions, and first of all, we increased our dedication. Look how all the national teams come out for every game and fight. Take the same Spaniards: we know how they can work with the ball, but they do not give up in one-on-one battles, do not lose anything. We see it too, and we came to Slovakia with a different mood, we added in everything - defense and attack.

We acted more confidently, and it was also indicative of how the substitutes fought for the result. I am very happy that we have such a team and such a team that stands for each other and does what is necessary. This is very important, and I think that they made a very big contribution to this victory.

On Ukraine's willful victories.

I don't know, can we play better after conceding? But actually it is not good. Everyone understands it very well. I know that we have character. Maybe it was not evident with Romania, but with Slovakia I saw how everyone was chewing it out, giving their best. Mistakes happen: you can concede from a long-range shot, you can score yourself - we see how many goals have been scored at this EURO. But it is important that we have the will to pull together and turn the game around.

About the meeting with Belgium

A very good team with quality and dangerous players. We all realize what kind of game awaits us and how difficult it will be. But I think that nothing is impossible. They need points, we need points. And then we'll see. I don't even want to get into what the group may look like: I have one task and one goal - to beat Belgium. I'm tuning only for that.

About the duel with Lukaku

He is a very dimensional player with a lot of experience. He knows how to cover the ball and stay in this position, create space for himself. Very dangerous in the penalty area. He has a lot of qualities that he can use and always has chances to score. It will be a good experience for me and I will gladly accept this challenge. I will prepare well for it and do my best. I am confident and I know what I am capable of.

About Doku and De Bruyne

Everyone knows that Doku is a very fast footballer, just reactive, with a great starting speed. He is very dangerous near the penalty area. And when such players - maneuverable and technical - enter the penalty area, you can simply not have time, or make a foul. Reaction time, your position - you have to take into account a lot of nuances.

De Bruyne is an outstanding player. We know what he can do: what passes he makes, how many runs he makes in a match, how he covers. Of course, we can talk a lot about the level of these players. But for me it's normal. I will go out knowing that we can win. And I am confident in my partners, in myself. I know that we can do it.

About your way from EURO to EURO

If you compare, at EURO 2020 I was a boy. I had just started playing in big soccer, I probably did not understand a lot of things. But I believe that I played that tournament at a good level. Now, I think I am a fully formed footballer. Yes, I have room to grow, but I already have some experience, I have played a lot of matches in the national team, and in European cups, and in the Premier League, played against the best players in the world.

Of course, this EURO is also very important for me. I am very happy to represent my homeland. We know how hard it is for our country because of the war. And we see how people need every game we play. I just want to thank those who protect us and everyone who supports and helps us.

About the tip to the senior partners

Maybe when I started, it was awkward somewhere. But over time I realized that I can not keep silent, because it helps the team. It does not matter how old you are and how old your partner is. This is soccer, and in it you need to give advice. Especially in my position, because I face the whole field and I can see both my opponents and my own. I see where I need to block the zone or who has failed.

On the contrary, I want all the players to talk. And I see our progress in this regard. It is important not to take offense when someone has to give emotional advice. This is soccer and it is normal. Fortunately, everyone understands it: there are no clashes after the match, because we all do one thing.

About those who are listened to

First of all, it is our veterans, who have already played a lot and know a lot. Andriy Yarmolenko - this is the fourth EURO for him, he knows absolutely everything about the tournament, about soccer, about how the teams played and play. I understand: if he says something, it is just an invaluable experience. I also take a lot of useful things from Serhiy Sidorchuk and Taras Stepanenko. They suggest such nuances, which eventually turn out to be very correct.

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