FC Shakhtar President Rinat Akhmetov makes a year-end performance review and wishes the fans a Happy New Year
The passing year has been a true time of trial for each of us. The world has faced unprecedented difficulties and new challenges. In this situation, we could not stay on the sidelines and we threw ourselves into doing everything we could to help people and the country. Equipment and medicines, personal protective equipment for doctors and test kits. All these things helped save lives. Still, people need not only financial, but also moral support, especially in the most challenging times. In 2020, we all needed the strength and depth of emotions that football is capable of evoking.
FC Shakhtar did everything it could to delight the fans with a magnificent football and excellent performance. The club won Ukrainian Premier League for the fourth time in a row, leading by a record margin. The team showed an outstanding performance in the European arena. They went a long way to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals. In autumn, Shakhtar had an impressive campaign on the UEFA Champions League group stage - doing a double over Real Madrid and outranking Inter Milan.
I want to thank each player, head coach Luis Castro, the entire coach team, and each club's employee for their strong commitment and resilience. Against all the odds, you proved to be real professionals and contributed a lot to the success of the club.
I would particularly like to underline the progress made by our young football players. They had to play in crucial and tough matches and still they showed excellent and, most importantly, robust performance against the best European teams. I am confident that they hold the key to the future – the future of Shakhtar and the entire Ukrainian football.
Still, there is something we all missed in 2020 – the stadiums full of football fans. It's hard for the teams to play in empty stadiums and it's really hard for the fans not to be able to watch grand football matches. We all have felt it deeply. Today we all cherish the hope that next year the stadiums will be full of fans who will fill up the matches with their energy and that stadiums will have their heart and soul again. We all hope that our team, our young players mostly coming from Shakhtar Football Academy, will continue playing and dream of seeing the full stands of Donbass Arena in our home city Donetsk where they can show magnificent football bringing joy to all their faithful fans. We live the dream and we play and win for this dream.
In 2021, we are not going to divert from the path and we will try to do everything to make Shakhtar even stronger. We want to win as always, we want to succeed in the European arena, and we want to win more titles and trophies. Most importantly, we want to share the joy of victory with you, our committed fans.
I wish you and your loved ones a fun-filled festive season, good health, happiness, and prosperity in 2021. May the New Year bring each of you peace and abundance.
Happy New Year!
With deepest respect,
FC Shakhtar President