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Dmytro Chygrynskiy

Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 13.20CET
The Ukraine defender introduces his adopted home, its heritage, love of football and "unique charm".

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Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 13.20CET

Dmytro Chygrynskiy

The Ukraine defender introduces his adopted home, its heritage, love of football and "unique charm".

Dmytro Chygrynskiy is not a Donbass native, but having spent much of the last decade at FC Shakhtar Donetsk the Ukraine defender has come to admire its "unique charm". He has had two seasons away, first on loan at FC Metalurh Zaporizhya as a junior and then after a €25m move to FC Barcelona having captured the 2009 UEFA Cup, but he never really left. Still only 25, the two-time Ukrainian Premier League title winner, holder of a Master's degree in the liberal arts, tells UEFA.com why it is always so hard to say goodbye.

The best thing is …
Donetsk has its own unique charm, because in this city calmness is mixed with yearning for development. It's quite a young industrial city, so you won't find a lot of architectural masterpieces, although it has beautiful parks. Many years have passed since I first came here, and I need to mention that Donetsk has become more attractive. Many things were improved, too, including the roads.

My favourite place …
Our new stadium. It's less than three years since the Donbass Arena opened but it is already a Donetsk symbol, the city's visiting card and a key attraction. The stadium is surrounded by a picturesque park and a pond. Moreover, the Donbass Arena is a very comfortable place for the supporters. Everything has been well thought out; I think visitors to EURO 2012 will appreciate that.

Cultural break …
I recommend the Forged Figures Park, where you will find a huge version of the UEFA Cup, which was made at Mircea Lucescu's request. Also, you need to visit Shcherbakova Park, among the best in Ukraine. And you cannot miss the terykony (slag heaps). They are symbols of Donetsk, a constant reminder of the hard toil by coal miners which created the city.

A bite to eat …
The most famous local dish around here is the Donbass meat rissoles; the Donetsk version of a chicken Kiev. For foreign visitors I recommend the classics of Ukrainian cuisine: varenyky (stuffed dumplings) and borscht (beetroot soup). Our food is generous and nourishing, so no one will be disappointed.

My fondest memory …
I was deeply impressed by the scenes that took over the city after Shakhtar's victory in the UEFA Cup final in 2009. Everyone celebrated madly for a few days. I was especially touched when, after returning from Istanbul, I met a very old man in the street; he was radiating happiness. He fondly thanked me, saying that all his life he had been waiting for such a great triumph.

Night fever …
I am not the type of person who spends a great deal of time in clubs and restaurants, but I assure you that there are lots of excellent places – everyone will find a place to please his taste.

Tell us something we don't know …
If you really want to discover Donetsk's soul, you need to go down a coal mine. I visited one with my team-mates. Under the ground I understood how difficult a miner's work is, and how we underestimate it. I didn't feel fear, but I gained deep admiration for the profession.

Room for improvement …
During preparations for EURO 2012 a lot of beautiful new buildings were built in Donetsk, a lot of old ones were improved and the roads became better too. My only wish is that the city will continue to develop like this.

Last updated: 05/12/13 9.18CET

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