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EXCLUSIVE: Jadson speaks to Sambafoot on his life in Ukraine and future plans

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Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Jadson has been in European football for seven years now and rumours are flowing about a possible return to Brazil. Just recently, the Seleção midfielder took time out his schedule to talk to Sambafoot about the past few years and his future plans.

You moved to Ukraine in 2005, how do you feel the league has developed in that time?

When I arrived here, Ukrainian football was not highly regarded in Europe or Brazil, because the Championship was not seen much outside of Ukraine. Since 2005, the league has improved a lot. It is a lot more competitive. Before, it was always Dynamo and Shakhtar fighting for the title. Now there are at least three more teams that are always fighting for position and the big teams have to play better. Over time, results in European competitions have improved also. It is not only Shakhtar and Dynamo, other teams have also managed good results and show that Ukranian football has improved year-on-year.


When you went to Ukraine for the first time, were you worried at all?

When I received the offer to play for Shakhtar, the team was not well known. At that time, in 2004, I had just had a good Brasileirão season with Atlético Paranaense. I only learned of Shakhtar's existence when it was announced that they wanted to buy me. I had never heard of the country, Ukraine is not often discussed. But although I didn't know much, after I came here, I learned a lot and I am totally adapted to this country.


Yourself, Fernandinho and Willian have all been called-up to the National Team this year. Do you feel there is now more attention being paid to those playing in Ukraine?

In the past, the Ukranian Championship was not well regarded by Brazilians. But now, with the results of Eastern European teams in the Champions League and the Europa League, or the old UEFA Cup, things have changed. As our team has done well, Mano Menezes has looked at our side and, thanks to God, I got an opportunity to represent the National Team. Willian and Fernandinho are also in the Seleção now. Douglas Costa also has this opportunity. This is great because we can give it our best shot and have the chance to be seen by the coach of the Seleção.


You scored against Paraguay in the Copa America. Do you understand why you were then substistuted at half-time?

No, but I think Mano has his reasons. Before I scored, I had been been booked. I then committed a foul on a Paraguay counter-attack and could have been sent-off. Because I wasn't dismissed, I was able to score the goal. At the interval, for tactical reasons, Mano said it was better to take me off then, than risk a red card. I understood that it was a tactical reason, but I was still happy to have taken part and scored my first goal for the team.


You haven't received a call up since the Copa America, how is your relationship with Mano Menezes now?

My relationship with Mano Menezes is fine. I have played in the National team! He is a quiet and modest person, supports his players and is always talking to them, to pass on his instructions. I really enjoyed working with Mano. I am working hard once more and maybe in the future I will get another chance to demonstrate my talents with the National Team.


You have had great success in the past couple of years. What is your proudest achievement?

There have been several moments. But, those that impacted me the most were winning the UEFA Cup with my team and the chance to play with the Seleção. The competition to play for Brazil is huge and I had the opportunity to demonstrate my talent with the team. I think these are the two biggest moments of my career.


Shakhtar have won a lot in recent times. How do you see them developing? Can they challenge for the Champions League?

Over the last few years, the team has had great results in European competitions. This year we did not start well, but we will keep working bit-by-bit and who knows, in the future maybe we can be champions. We showed last year in the Champions League that we have quality in the team, good football players who can play as equals with the most successful European teams. I think with a little more concentration, a little more hard work and a little more maturity, it can happen and who knows, maybe we can be Champions.


You started your career at Atlético Paranaense. Do you still follow their results and what have you made of their season?

Whenever it is possible, I watch their games and look at the table. It is my team, the team where I started out, the team where I made it big and this year they are not doing well, but I hope the situation can get better. I have great love for the team and for the fans there, who always helped me when I was at the club. I hoped they could avoid relegation. I don't think any player wants to see a team they have played for relegated, so I was cheering for a comeback.


On your future, would you like to return to Brazil?

I have been at Shakhtar for seven years and have been very happy in that time. I have no bad word to say about either the club, or the fans. The only thing I am thinking is, maybe there is something else I can do in my career. For now, I am here, and I don't know if Brazil is the right place for me. But, if there was the opportunity of an interesting return to Brazil, it is possible I would return. I am also thinking of signing one more time in Europe and looking for a top team.


There were reports of an Arsenal move in the summer. Was there anything concrete and would you be interested in a move to the Premier League?

I also heard the rumours, but their was never anything concrete. There was nothing on paper, but I was happy to hear rumours of a move to England. I think any player would like to play in the Premier League, it is a major league. I think it is the best in the world. If I had the chance to play in the Premier League, I would be very happy.


Players like Leandro Damião have been linked with Shakhtar in recent times. What advice would you give over a possible move to Ukraine?

I actually saw on a website that Shakhtar, amongst other teams, were interested in Leandro Damião. I had the opportunity to play one game with him for the Seleção. He is a great young talent of Brazilian football, he needs to see what is best for him. These youngsters who are in Brazil and want to leave for Europe need to think carefully and see what is best for them. If they think it is for the best, then they should leave and pursue their own dreams. That is what I think.


You have played alongside the likes of Leandro Damião, Neymar, Ganso and Lucas Moura for the Seleção. What do you think of this new generation of talent in Brazil?

It is a generation, a new crop that is fast arriving. They are players of great quality who have shown their potential. I think that Brazil is on the right track with these youngsters. They are playing them, so that in the future they can be great players. I think everyone in Brazil thinks that way. Now, we must work with them, so they can give their best on the pitch. They are quality players who can help the National Team and their clubs. This is the way to proceed. We must continue with them and they must continue with their footballing progress.


Shakhtar is a mini-Seleção and the team has a very Brazilian feel to it. What is it like to have so many Brazilians there, both on and off the field?

I think it is really good to have these Brazilians here, because the team has a philosophy. Since 2005, they have signed Brazilians and they have always got good results. Thus, Shakhtar are always looking to recruit the best young Brazilian prospects. They want them at 19, 20 or 21 years old, while they are still young. The coach here, Mircea Lucescu, wants this mentality. He takes these young talents and develops them how he wants. He wants to mould a team. Therefore, the Shakhtar team has had good results. It is quiet here and the Brazilians have all done well on-and-off the pitch. It is better than being in a place where there are no Brazilians. But, at least here when you speak a bit of the language, you can have some fun. That's great!


  • Interview: Christopher Atkins
  • Interpretation: Rio Coimbra
  • Transcription: Iain Luxford

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