Coach Fernando Valente regrets that one of Shakhtar Donetsk’s top academy talents and his 20-year-old former footballer have to hide in a bunker to escape war in Ukraine.
“Sudakov is a 20-year-old boy with huge potential, even to play for Barcelona or Manchester City. He was the biggest talent I’ve developed and he’s one I have a connection with. the strongest. , who is pregnant, happy in life, and recently sent me another stuck in a ‘bunker’ and sad. Every time I see them again, tears come to my eyes,” said Fernando Value to Lusa.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24. The Russian invasion was condemned by most of the international community, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and increasing economic sanctions against Moscow.
Parede’s coach said his former pupil had already left Kyiv and headed to Lviv, west of the capital, being one of three elements he trained at the academy who are now established in the first team of Shakhtar Donetsk. The others are Bondarenko and Mudryk, who scored the goal that put the Ukrainian team in the group stage of this edition of the Champions League.
“Fortunately, 15 other players who I trained at Shakhtar and who now represent Mariupol are out of the country, as they were doing the pre-season in Turkey, after the winter break, when the war started,” he said. revealed, happy to have contributed in two years for the promotion of 21 players to the Ukrainian I League.
From his debut in Ukraine, he recalled the invitation of José Boto, at the time head of recruitment, with the aim of bringing the game of the under-21s closer to that of the main team of Shakhtar, which had 14 Brazilians .
“After a while, this shorter and more connected style of play, with a more aesthetic side, appeared and the club promoted me to director of the high level academy”, proudly remembers Fernando Valente.
At Shakhtar academy, Kyiv, Valente came off the bench and started coordinating the Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 teams (another Portuguese, Edgar Cardoso, was in charge of Under-16 levels years), having also seen his contract extended for two more seasons, in a course interrupted, last year, after the end of the championship of less than 21 years, by decision of the local Federation.
It was the second experience out of the country, after, in 2017, coaching the Under-19s of Shandong Luneng, China, in “another fantastic experience”.
“It was a very difficult project, mainly due to cultural, food and communication differences, but the conditions were unique, in a structure with 35 grass fields, two hotels, a school and a hospital. talent and invest more in hard work, but the truth is that there is talent everywhere,” he concluded.