Oleksandr Zinchenko broke down in tears on the eve of his team’s crucial World Cup match against Scotland as he vowed a victory would bring “incredible emotions” to the Ukrainian people.
The postponed playoff will be Ukraine’s first since Russia launched its invasion in February.
The win will determine a meeting with Wales for a place in the World Cup in Qatar.
“Every Ukrainian wants one thing – to end this war,” said Manchester City midfielder Zinchenko.
“I have spoken to people from different countries around the world and I have spoken to some Ukrainian children who do not understand what is happening in Ukraine.
“They just want the war to stop. You have a dream to end the war.
“When it comes to football, the team, we have our own dream. We want to go to the World Cup, we want to give the Ukrainians these amazing feelings because they deserve it so much at this moment.”
Zinchenko, 25, has shown his feelings on and off the field since the war began, and while sitting with his coach Oleksandr Petrakov at Hampden Park, he collapsed while answering a Ukrainian journalist’s question.
He praised the welcome from Team Scotland, staff and plans to distribute song sheets to home fans so they can sing along with the Ukrainian anthem.
Zinchenko, who won the Premier League title with City, added: “I would also like to say that many countries may not understand this – today it is Ukraine, but tomorrow it could be you.
Therefore, we must unite and defeat the aggression altogether.
“I am sure all of Ukraine will be watching us. We will feel supported.
“We can talk a lot, but we have to prove everything on the field. We will try to make our people happy and proud.”