In the grip of an armed conflict for six months, Ukraine is looking for a way out. In the darkened sky, a man gives balm to the heart of a whole people and more: Mykhaylo Mudryk.
While Ukraine has been making headlines almost daily for the past six months due to the armed conflict with Russia, Ukrainian soccer is slowly but surely recovering. In the dark skies above Europe’s second largest country, a lightning bolt is taking more and more space. A lightning named Mykhaylo Mudryk (21 years old).
Europe is warned
While Ukraine rightly thought they had a golden generation after winning the U20 World Cup in 2019, with players like Andriy Lunin, Vitaliy Mykolenko or Vladyslav Supriaha, they probably did not expect to hatch such a generational talent. Long hair, blond locks, piercing eyes, tattoo on the neck, the winger of Shakhtar stands out from the crowd and gives off something different. His measurements? 1,75m, about sixty kilos. A morphology that is close to a certain Neymar, when he is fit. And the two players do not only share the same corpulence.
His style of play? Fire in the legs. Like the Brazilian. Speed, percussion, dribbles, nerve, Mudryk has everything of the player who regales his public and who makes live a hell to his opponents. Like the Parisian. His performance at the Bernabeu, where he was given a standing ovation, last season, has put the chip on his shoulder. For his return to the Champions League, Tuesday, the will-o’-the-wisp made a mess of the Leipzig defense (1-4). A series of passes before a decisive pass for Maryan Shved, a goal full of cold blood to make the break and another offering for Lacina Traore, the supersonic winger has martyred Mohamed Simakan for 90 minutes.
And yet, Mudryk could have left…
Mudryk, c’est aussi et un surtout un joueur qui semble avoir la tête sur les épaules. Privé de football durant des mois, le natif de Krasnohrad aurait pu prendre la poudre d’escampette dès cet été et laisser derrière lui un club qui se reconstruit peu à peu. Il a finalement préféré rester, tournant le dos à de nombreuses équipes européennes, comme Arsenal, qui a transmis un chèque de 35 millions d’euros pour lui permettre d’exploser. L’explosion au plus niveau, Mudryk la cherchera au Shakhtar, chez lui, avec la perspective de jours meilleurs. Une chose est certaine : l’Ukraine tient un joyau. Un joyau que personne ne pourra lui enlever.