Mykhailo Mudryk reveals his parents are STILL in Ukraine – and calls them EVERY day for an update
Mykhailo Mudryk’s parents still live in war-torn Ukraine despite the country’s ongoing conflict with Russia, Chelsea’s £88million man revealed ahead of his Euro 2024 qualifier against England at Wembley on Sunday.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk star, who completed his big money move to Stamford Bridge in January, explained how he still calls his parents up every day to hear the latest on Ukraine.
Mudryk is set to play an integral role for Ukraine in Sunday’s qualifier against England, who triumphed in their opening match of the campaign on Thursday, beating Italy 2-1 thanks to goals from Declan Rice and Harry Kane.
Kane became England’s all-time top scorer after netting his first-half penalty, overtaking Wayne Rooney’s tally of 53 goals set seven years ago.
Although Mudryk is fully focused on inspiring an upset at Wembley, he can’t help but think about his family and loved ones in his home country.
Chelsea winger Mykhailo Mudryk has revealed that his parents still live in war-torn Ukraine
The Ukrainian said that he calls his family every day for an update on the conflict – Mudryk (left) is pictured next to his father (centre) and mother (right) in an image from 2018 on Instagram
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s match, the 22-year-old said: ‘My parents are still there, still in Ukraine, and every day I call them and ask them what is happening, what the situation is now and how they are. Everything about what the situation is like in our country.’
He went on to express his gratitude towards the British public, thanking the England fans who have helped his homeland in any way since the Russian invasion.
‘Their reaction for me is good because people ask me about the situation in Ukraine,’ he added. ‘I am grateful to all the people who have helped Ukraine in this situation, it means a lot.’
Sportsmail exclusively spoke to Arsenal and Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is set to team up with Mudryk on Sunday, ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifier.
The Gunners star, like Mudryk, is also grateful to the UK for standing in solidarity with Ukraine.
‘Even now it’s so difficult but without your support, I can’t even imagine what would be,’ he told Sportsmail earlier this week.
Oleksandr Zinchenko sat down with Sportsmail to discuss troubles back in his native Ukraine
Zinchenko recalls one specific episode in the first month after Russia’s invasion where he was approached by two young children at a shop who said they are standing with him amid fight
‘I remember, the first month after the invasion, I was going to the shop and little kids were coming to me and saying: “We are all with you, we are praying for you. And we hope everything will be good”.
‘For me, these kind of things are most sensitive than any other events. It means even little kids are living with you this situation.’
The left-back went on to urge that, without his country’s army, Ukraine’s clash against England would not be possible, nor would his involvement in Arsenal’s Premier League title charge this season.
‘I would like to say a massive thanks to our Ukrainian army for this opportunity,’ he continued.
Mudryk and Zinchenko will face off against England, who made a superb start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign by beating Italy 2-1 on Thursday evening, at Wembley on Sunday
Harry Kane became England’s all-time record goalscorer after netting versus Italy on Thursday
‘That we can still play football, still play for Ukraine. To represent our country on this level, of course everyone understands the pressure… every single opportunity we have to play against someone, we play for our badge, our country. We all understand the responsibility.’
Mudryk, Zinchenko and their international team-mates met with children who were evacuated to England as a result of the Russian invasion earlier this week.
Russian forces attacked northern and southern stretches of the front in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region on Friday, even as Kyiv said Moscow’s assault was flagging near the city of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian military reports described heavy fighting along a line running from Lyman to Kupiansk, as well as in the south at Avdiivka on the outskirts of the Russian-held city of Donetsk.
In an interview with his former club Shakhtar shortly after the invasion, Mudryk said: ‘I think this is a massive crime against the Ukrainian people. And there is no price high enough to pay for it.
Mudryk admitted that he is trying to ‘figure out how to live’ amid the conflict in his home country
‘Even the death of the one who started this will be no atonement for it. Personally, I try to keep calm, to preserve common sense. I’m trying to figure out how to live on and what to do in general.
‘I want the entire audience I have on social media to listen so that people know the truth, perceive actual information instead of twisted propaganda.
‘All the footballers I know are involved in humanitarian activities, helping people in every way they can.
‘I think that the main thing that Ukrainian athletes can help with is to glorify their country in the world and draw the attention of millions of people to the topic of the war in Ukraine through their victories.’