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Sergei Palkin: It’s important for us to play with the top teams of the Brazilian league

FC Shakhtar CEO
FC Shakhtar

- Sergei Anatolyevich, the idea of going on tour of Brazil has been considered for a long time. Why has it been realized only now?
- Because only two months ago, we managed to find a company that acted as the organiser of the tournament and took care of all the costs itself. For us, this moment was the cornerstone, the starting point. Only then we started to work in this direction. Although we have had this idea and tried to find a serious opponent for a long time.

- Is the Brazilian company engaged in organising the tour?
- Granada Eventos Sporting Marketing was established in Germany. It has offices in Portugal and Brazil. This company is a leader in the organisation of sports events in Europe and Latin America. Its co-owners are Mario Teixeira and Marcio Granados. The club held talks directly with Mario. In recent years, Granada Eventos Sporting Marketing has organised more than 250 such events on a serious level. 

- How long has the process of negotiations lasted?
- One and a half months. A lot of the subtleties, the trip is quite complicated: there are a lot of technical issues and negotiations with all clubs participating.

- As part of a tour of Brazil, Shakhtar will hold five matches. On what basis have the opponents been  chosen?
- For us it was very important to play with the top teams of the Brazilian league. Today, it is FC Cruzeiro - the champion of Brazil for the past two seasons. FC Atletico Mineiro, where we have recently bought Bernard from. Internationale - the famous Brazilian club. FC Flamengo, which has a very large number of fans across Brazil. And FC Bahia.

- The club is planning to organise the broadcast of all five matches. Do you already know which channel?
- Now we are negotiating it with the Futbol channel; we are discussing technical issues.

- Will anyone from Shakhtar’s youth team or loaned out players travel to Brazil?
- We have only Malinovskiy and Kovalenko on the list so far. These are the ones that we will take. Maybe Malyshev as well – we are still thinking.

- Brazilian players will join Shakhtar there, won’t they?
- Yes, they will wait for us there, they will prepare under the leadership of Antonio Zago.

- Where exactly are you planning to be based in Brazil?
- There are several places. We arrive on January 9 in Rio de Janeiro. There is quite a serious centre called Zico, built by the famous Brazilian footballer. We’ll be staying there until January 16 – our first game is scheduled on this day. Then, the team will move to the capital of Brazil - Brasilia, where on January 18 they will take part in the opening match of the Granada Cup at the Garrincha Cup - with Flamengo. Naturally, we will conduct training before and after the games in the same area where we will live.

- Eduardo, ex-striker Shakhtar, now plays for Flamengo. Will this be the highlight of the game?
- I foresee a special interest of our fans. It will be interesting to see Eduardo at full strength. He was a professional and appreciated in Ukraine; in Brazil, he is treated the same way. After the Flamengo game, on January 21, the game with Atletico Mineiro will take place in Belo Horizonte. Then we will go to Porto Alegre, where we will meet local Inter. Every club wants to take on Shakhtar in their home arena, so that fans could come. Plus, it is important to advertise an event, because our team is known in Brazil... And from Porto Alegre we will fly to Brasilia, where we will meet with Cruzeiro in the Granada Cup. Upon its completion, Shakhtar will return to Europe.

- Granada Cup is organised within the framework of the upcoming tour or is it a regular competition?
- No, Granada Eventos Sporting Marketing organised this tournament for the first time. Shakhtar will hold two games - with Flamengo and Cruzeiro. There will also be a fourth team playing in the Granada Cup - it is not known which one. But we will not face them.

- It will be a tournament of four teams, won’t it?
- Yes, it will. But since Shakhtar will fly long distances, we want to use the opportunity and play not two matches, but five – for the general level of players to justify the trip.

- You said that Brazilian clubs are going to deploy a PR-campaign regarding Shakhtar’s arrival. Are Shakhtar planning to promote their brand in Brazil?
- A third of Brazilian football fans know Shakhtar. After all, Willian and Fernandinho - our ex-players – play for the national team. In addition, recently Luiz Adriano, Fred and Douglas Costa have received an international call-up. This is a plus for us, because the interest of Brazilians in football is great, and especially to internationals! I am sure the upcoming matches will be watched not only in Ukraine and in the South American continent, but also in much of the world. This event will take place for the first time in history of our club, and Ukrainian football as a whole. On the other hand, we all know that today the UEFA toughens requirements regarding the Financial Fair Play. And thus it makes us think about additional sources of income. The Brazilian market is actively developing - and there are great prospects.

 
 

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