The Ukrainian Kyrylo Melichenko (22) has been keeping fit at second division club Dynamo Dresden for a good week because the war is raging in his home country. Now the right-back is telling his moving, harrowing story for the first time with his girlfriend Anya (22) …
“First of all I want to thank the club and everyone here. We couldn’t have imagined that we were received so kindly,” said the young professional, who still can’t believe that nothing is the way it was.
“Mariupol, where we lived and where I played football, is in ruins. Our apartment burned out, too,” he says with a straight face. “It was such a beautiful city with such happy people.”
When Melichenko left for the Turkey training camp in January with his team FK Mariupol (first division team in Ukraine, squad value according to transfermarkt.de 6.65 million euros, half as much as Dresden), he had no idea that his homeland would be like this will not see again soon.
“We were on our way back when the information came that we couldn’t fly back to Ukraine. Because the airspace was already closed,” he reports.