26 May 2022 | 12:43 | Football
Ukrainian players share sympathy
Rakitskyi, 32 years old, is an integral part of Zenit, having won 3 consecutive championships with the club, 2 Russian Super Cups and Russian Cup after only 3 years of joining. But he was dropped from Zenit’s starting lineup on Monday after declaring his support for Ukraine on Instagram.
Rakitskyi asks for peace for his homeland and that the ongoing conflict be stopped. After that, he was dropped from the starting lineup and recently officially left.
Zenit said: “The club and our supporters would like to thank Yaroslav Rakitskyi for his time here, for the professionalism and passion he showed while with us. We sincerely wish Yaroslav, his friends and family all the best.”
Rakitskyi’s move from Shakhtar Donetsk to Zenit in January 2019 was fiercely controversial at the time due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The two sides have been in conflict since April 2014.
Rakitskyi is a Shakhtar legend, winning 8 national championships, 6 Ukrainian Cups and 6 Ukrainian Super Cups during his 10 years as a professional here. He was labeled a “traitor” when he joined Zenit 3 years ago. He also hasn’t played for Ukraine since switching colors, retiring from international football in 2019.