Eduard Sobol admits Ukraine will be motivated by their country’s struggle against Russia in Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final against Scotland.
Ukraine was invaded in February and worry and fear for family and friends back home dominates the thoughts of the squad which will travel to Hampden Park looking for the win which would take them into the play-off final against Wales in Cardiff.
Defender Sobol, 27, won the Belgium title with Club Brugge before arriving at Ukraine’s training camp in Slovenia after a delay due to a visa issue.
Speaking on Ukraine’s official website, he said: “I am very happy to have joined the national team.
“We celebrated the Brugge championship well, the celebration in the team took place after the penultimate round, and finally celebrated with the fans.
“I am ready to get involved in the affairs of the national team at once, club football is over so all thoughts are about the national team.
“As for the Scottish national team, I will say that it is a good opponent. I expect a difficult game but we can beat the Scots.
“The guys have been preparing for the match for a long time, so we are in a good mood and in good shape.
“In addition, we are very motivated by the struggle of our soldiers for the freedom and independence of Ukraine.
“I want to bring joy to people with this and subsequent victories. We will do everything in our power to give pleasant emotions to people in Ukraine.”
Slavia Prague defender Taras Kacarab said: “Slovenia is currently experiencing such fresh, real Scottish weather, and it is good to train, because the previous days were quite hot.
“It was quite difficult, but today the weather is helping to prepare for the match with Scotland.
“Today’s exercises lifted our spirits – it was a kind of fun warm-up.
“Scottish, English, Irish football, of course, has its strengths – its dedication, athleticism and strength – so we analyse their matches and prepare for the manner of play of almost every player.”