After being stranded following the Russian invasion, head coach of FC Shakhtar Donetsk Roberto De Zerbi and his coaching staff safely made it out of Ukraine on Monday. It was later reported that Hungary’s Ferencváros football club aided in their evacuation.
Ferencváros’ football club was instrumental in getting the coaches of the Ukrainian professional football club from Donetsk out of the country. The Hungarian team sent their own bus and driver to the border checkpoint in Záhony, from where they picked up De Zerbi and his team and brought them to Budapest.
The coaching staff then flew to Italy from Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt Airport. According to the Italian Football Federation, they arrived safely on Monday afternoon.
Tamás Hajnal, sports director of Ferencvárosi TC, explained the call he received from former FC Shakhtar Donetsk player Darijo Srna asking for help:
[Srna] asked us to do everything we can to help him get the entire coaching staff out of Ukraine. It took a lot of work from a lot of people, but we were successful in executing the evacuation.”
The border crossing was not easy either. Hajnal said that Fradi’s bus was there at 3:45 in the morning, but it took four hours for De Zerbi and his staff to make it across the border into Hungary.
After being transported to Ferenc Liszt Airport, the staff shared an announcement confirming that they had to leave the country due to the conflict, and voiced their support for Ukraine’s war effort.
Featured photo via FC Shakhtar Donetsk’s Twitter page