Oleksandr Zinchenko says that Ukraine will need to play the best game of their lives if they hope to beat England on Saturday in their Euro 2020 quarter-final clash.
Zinchenko is certainly familiar with the England team, having been at Manchester City since 2016.
And, knowing that England have yet to concede a goal this tournament, he says his team will be underdogs as they look to seal a spot in the semi-finals.
- Ballon d'Or 2021 Power Rankings: Could Lewandowski still catch Messi?
- Barcelona's big week: Three games which could decide Koeman's future
- European zeroes to Premier League heroes: How Lingard and De Gea turned their Man Utd careers around
- Milan's 'Magic Mike' Maignan making Juventus look like losers in Donnarumma PSG transfer
What was said?
“England played very well in defence – but there are no perfect teams," Zinchenko said. "To go through we will have to play the best game of our life.”
His point was echoed by manager Andriy Shevchenko, who believes this is one of the best England teams that he's seen.
“England is one of the most balanced teams," he said. "They have amazing players. It’s a team that plays more than football. English football is having one of the best moments in history. Tomorrow will be the hardest game for us.”
'That doesn't help football'
Due to Covid restrictions, few supporters from Ukraine or England are expected to make the trip to Rome, where Saturday's game will be held.
Before the game against Ukraine, all four of England's games had been played at Wembley Stadium in front of what was essentially a full home crowd.
With few travelling supporters, the crowd will largely be made up of local fans, and Shevchenko is hoping those in the stadium choose to back his side.
“That doesn’t help football. But we are well aware of the Covid situation," he said.
"We do have a significant Ukrainian community here in Italy. I invited and encouraged them to come to the Stadio Olimpico.
"I expect Italian fans in the stadium and hope they will support Ukraine. Ukraine deserves the sympathy of the fans for how well we play.”