Defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy is looking forward to a "special game" as he prepares to pull on an FC Shakhtar Donetsk shirt for possibly the final time against FC Barcelona, his next employers.
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Dmytro Chygrynskiy is looking forward to a "special game" as he prepares to pull on an FC Shakhtar Donetsk shirt for what is likely to be the final time against FC Barcelona, the defender's next employers.
The 22-year-old centre-back is on the verge of completing a transfer to the Camp Nou, but is adamant there will be only one thought in his mind when he runs out at the Stade Louis II in Monaco. "This is going to be a special game for me," he said. "I'm a professional first and foremost and when I go out wearing the Shakhtar shirt, I'm going to defend their goal. What happens next is different. I'm a professional – I'm going to concentrate on the game and put any other issues out of my mind. I don't feel any pressure, I'm totally focused on this game. I've had a lot of questions about this issue over the last few days but I'm concentrated on this game."
Chygrynskiy's current coach, Mircea Lucescu, has given the transfer his approval, adding: "It's a great honour for Shakhtar for a major club to buy one of our young players. When Barcelona come in for a player, it's very hard to say no. Dmytro is only 22, has shown great talent and I'm convinced he's going to develop very positively in Barcelona. It's a win-win situation. The only one who's going to lose anything is me but I agreed to this transfer from the beginning. I'm proud because it means I've done a good job helping these young players win the Ukrainian league and other trophies. They have become popular with other clubs and I'm sure other players will be targets too. That's an achievement."
Chygrynskiy may be close to leaving but he will retain plenty of affection for Shakhtar, and has little doubt the UEFA Cup holders will deal easily with his departure. "Over the last few years plenty of leading players have left Shakhtar but we've continued to make progress," he said. "Last season was our most successful and I'm positive my leaving won't affect the team negatively. Any player – and I'm no exception – dreams of playing for Barcelona. It's a soure of pride for me at this stage of my career that Barcelona looked at my style and showed enough persistence to get me."