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Sports

Oleksandr Zinchenko: Man City up-and-comer, Ukraine's Euro hope

  • Zinchenko has won eight titles, including this season's Premier League and League Cup, since he joined the club in 2016.
03 Jun 2021

KIEV: Devastated, Oleksandr Zinchenko laid face down on the pitch of the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, where his club, Manchester City, on Saturday lost the Champions League final to Chelsea.

An hour earlier, the defender had been partly culpable for allowing Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz to score what would prove to be the winning goal in the all-English final.

It was not only the 24-year-old left-back at fault, but rather the entire City defence, as the club blew their chance to win the Champions League for the first time.

"Impossible to describe my feelings right now," Zinchenko wrote on Instagram on Monday.

"We tried to give everything on the pitch. During all season we were working hard like animals but it wasn't enough. We will be back stronger!"

On Saturday, the frustrated Zinchenko could hardly hold back tears while receiving a runners-up medal as City fell agonisingly short of European glory.

But now the occasionally hot-headed but diligent and tireless worker will have to quickly switch his attention to the Ukrainian national team, where he typically plays in midfield.

Zinchenko has featured more and more often in City's starting line-up in recent months, emerging as a reliable cog in Pep Guardiola's side.

"He doesn't make mistakes. When you say something, he reads it immediately," Guardiola said about Zinchenko at a press conference last month.

"He is always focused, always concentrated."

Zinchenko has won eight titles, including this season's Premier League and League Cup, since he joined the club in 2016.

He recently recalled in a video on City's YouTube account that he "could not believe it is real life", when he joined the English side from Ufa in Russia at the age of 19.

"The training ground here, the attitude... I was like 'That's the place where I have to be, that's the place to improve'."