Brazilian players leave Ukraine and hope for a fresh start

Lidiane, Kedma, and Gabriela were in the nation when Russia's invasion started, but they were able to flee.
2022-04-01 12:30:07

Three Brazilian footballers were caught in the heart of the mayhem as the Russian invasion of Ukraine started. Lidiane Oliveira, Kedma Laryssa, and Gabriela Zidoi were all members of the Kryvbas Women’s team and had trouble leaving the nation since the city they resided in was besieged by Russian forces.

There were days of strain and dread, but they were able to flee Ukraine in early March and are now safe in Brazil and Portugal, where Gabriela has relatives. The next stage is to resume their careers outside of the combat zone in order to achieve their ultimate goal: getting called up to the Brazilian National Team.

Troubled departure from Ukraine

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Brazilian women have experienced frightening times in Ukraine. Kryvyi Rih, where they reside, is 400 kilometers from Kiev and was not deemed a priority target, although Russian soldiers took nearby towns. There was soon a significant worry of being unable to go.

The team they play for was supposed to fly to Turkey for pre-season training, but it was postponed as soon as the incident broke out. According to Kedma, the team’s previous hotel was adjacent to a military post, so all of the players were relocated to a new facility that could accommodate 70 athletes.

Later, these locations were attacked, causing earthquakes in the new location. Because the airports were blocked after the invasion, the only possible route out of the city was via rail.

Return trip was not easy

On March 2, the initial effort to flee Ukraine was unsuccessful. According to the Brazilians, the station was very congested, and children and the elderly were given precedence for boarding. They had to return to the hotel soon.

The following day, with the assistance of locals who knew the language, they were able to escape by train. The trip was difficult, with wagons filled with people trying to flee the nation, but they eventually made it to Lviv, near the Polish border, and then to Poland.

Gabriela then flew to Portugal to see her parents, while Kedma and Lidiane arrived safely at Guarulhos Airport.

Trajectory of Brazilian women in the European country

Since 2021, the three Brazilian players have defended Kryvbas Women. Kedma, a right-back from Tiradentes-PI, began her career with Flamengo-PI and joined the Ukrainian squad in August after playing in the Brasileirão Série A2 for her local team.

Gabriela, meantime, began her professional career with Vila Nova after moving from Esprito Santo, but suffered a devastating knee injury in her debut match. Her recuperation from surgery took just four months, and she went on to play for Benfica and Atlético Clube in Portugal before joining the Ukraine squad.

Lidiane, who lives in Vila Belmiro, Ribeiro Pires-SP, has a lengthy international career. She moved to Ukraine in 2018, although she previously played for Sala Saragoza in Spain before returning to Fortaleza in Brazil. Finally, she was still wearing the J.C. Football Club from Amazonas when she arrived to Kryvbas.

Search for fresh start

The athletes’ primary goal is to make the Brazilian National Team. They must play for teams in other nations for the length of the war, much as men’s football. Gabriela also said that she has already reached an agreement with a Portuguese club.

“I want to stay in Europe and play with a Portuguese club.” I’m not going to stop because my goal is to make the Brazilian squad, and I’m not going to give up,” the athlete told Gazeta do Esprito Santo.

Meanwhile, Piau’s Kedma Larissa and So Paulo’s Lidiane de Oliveira are in Brazil and have not yet revealed their plans. What is known is that the players should not return to Russia amid the crisis with Ukraine and should instead settle with local clubs.