Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko is ‘worried’ about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the defender is ‘ready to play’ against Everton this weekend despite the troubling scenes in his home country
- Pep Guardiola says Oleksandr Zinchenko is ready to play for Man City vs Everton
- Zinchenko’s home country Ukraine is currently under attack from Russia
- Guardiola says the player is naturally ‘worried’ about the situation in his country
Pep Guardiola has pledged ‘unconditional’ support for Oleksandr Zinchenko and confirmed the Manchester City defender is available for selection this weekend.
The 25-year-old has trained twice since Russia launched a full-scale invasion on his native country, Ukraine.
Guardiola has spoken with Zinchenko – who attended a vigil at Manchester Central Library on Thursday night – and lauded the player’s mental strength.
‘Oleks is an incredible, strong guy – really,’ Guardiola said. ‘Of course, the team and the club is close to him, unconditionally.
Pep Guardiola says Oleksandr Zinchenko has the full support of the Man City dressing room
‘What would we feel if [it was] our country, where we were born and have family and friends? How will you feel? I guess that’s what he feels. He loves [his country], he grew up there and they’re attacking and killing innocent people.’
Zinchenko has used his social media platform to stand up to the aggression, uploading a photo of Vladimir Putin captioned: ‘I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature.’
It was then alleged that Zinchenko’s swiftly deleted post disappeared without his knowledge. Instagram confirmed that they are ‘looking into’ the claims.
Zinchenko is likely to be named on the bench when City face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday and Guardiola praised his attitude.
Russia launching an all-out attack to invade Zinchenko’s home country Ukraine on Thursday
Guardiola has reassured Zinchenko that he has City’s full support amid the worrying scenes
‘It’s not easy at the moment but in the training session yesterday he was brilliant, so he’s ready to play in case he has to play,’ the Catalan added.
‘Innocent people are dying when these innocent people just want to live in peace. All around the world people want to live in peace, have a house, sleep well, a plate on the table. Some pleasure like movies, books, walks and some people to love and that’s all.
‘Always it’s innocent people in this kind of situation that pay the terrible [cost], to lose their lives for the decision for one or two people. It’s hard to accept and still, maybe we don’t learn what happened in the past with previous situations.
‘We spoke all us and I spoke privately with him of course and everyone. Fernandinho has friends [in Ukraine] and staff and everyone. Oleks knows exactly that we are here [for him].’