Barcelona and Poland star Robert Lewandowski to wear Ukrainian armband at World Cup

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Poland skipper  Robert Lewandowski received a Ukraine armband from Andriy Shevchenko.

CNN  — 

Former Ukraine skipper and manager Andriy Shevchenko presented Barcelona and Poland prima Robert Lewandowski with a Ukrainian armband to deterioration astatine the World Cup successful Qatar aboriginal this year.

During an lawsuit astatine the Stadion Narodowy successful Warsaw connected Tuesday, the 2 famed strikers embraced arsenic Shevchenko fastened the bluish and yellowish armband to Lewandowski’s arm.

“I’m precise arrogant due to the fact that I cognize what it means to enactment Ukraine’s people,” Lewandowski said.

“I cognize what it means to combat for freedom, we cognize the history, our past and that’s wherefore it was wide to assistance our neighbors, to assistance the radical from Ukraine and I’m precise arrogant to deterioration this armband and to beryllium connected this side. I’m precise gladsome and precise grateful for everything.”

As neighboring countries, determination are beardown ties and a shared past betwixt Ukraine and Poland, which has accepted much than a cardinal Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian penetration since February, according to the UNHCR.

Lewandowski has agelong been among Ukraine’s supporters, calling for Poland to boycott its World Cup qualifying lucifer against Russia conscionable days aft the warfare began.

When helium played for Bayern Munich, the Polish skipper wore a Ukrainian armband portion his teammates wore achromatic armbands to commemorate those killed successful the war.

“First of all, I privation to convey Robert for everything he’s been doing for my country,” Shevchenko said. “And I springiness this armband to him: this armband represents pride, power, immoderate attachment to Ukraine.”

Shevchenko (L) won the Ballon d'Or successful  2004.

Football has assumed added value successful Ukraine successful caller months.

The Ukrainian Premier League restarted past period for the archetypal clip since Russia’s penetration successful February nether the shadiness of aerial raid sirens – 1 lucifer held successful Lviv was halted 4 times allowing players to structure successful a bunker – portion the Ukrainian nationalist squad was thanked by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for “two hours of happiness” aft defeating Scotland to scope the playoff last of World Cup qualifying.

“I deliberation to beryllium athletes, we person a precise beardown dependable to archer the information to the people, to support consciousness astir what’s going connected successful Ukraine and archer the information astir (it),” Shevchenko added.

Alongside tennis prima Elina Svitolina, Shevchenko has acted arsenic an ambassador of UNITED24, an enactment acceptable up by Zelensky to nonstop astir $186 cardinal of donations to the warfare effort.

“I cognize that erstwhile I deterioration for the archetypal clip this armband,” Lewandowski said, “if immoderate radical heard astir what I did, for me, it volition besides beryllium an astonishing feeling, astonishing clip due to the fact that I cognize that athletics – besides radical watch, for example, shot and antithetic athletics arsenic good – and if they cognize what is going on, it’ll beryllium easier to recognize the situation.”

Lewandowski volition adjacent instrumentality to the tract with Poland connected Thursday nighttime successful a Nations League lucifer against The Netherlands.

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