Ruslan Rotan: "I congratulate the team that played a fantastic match against France!"

The head coach of the youth national team of Ukraine, Ruslan Rotan, spoke to journalists after the quarter-final match with France (3:1) at Euro-2023 (U-21), as a result of which our team won a historic ticket to the 2024 Olympics.

Ruslan Petrovych, are you already used to the idea that the Ukrainian national team made it to the semi-finals?

— First of all, we congratulate Ukraine on the victory, we congratulate our defenders, we thank them! I congratulate the team, who played a fantastic match, showed that we really are a team, we want more! If we go back years ago, when we first got together, and especially after the first qualifying match with France, we could not imagine that after two matches we would beat this team. I want to congratulate the football players on a great game, on the victory, and the most important thing for me is that they became the best among the best in this match.

France defends very high, thereby opening up space on both flanks. You surprised us a little with the lineup, because the classic striker did not turn out both Sudakov and Kryskiv found themselves in this zone. Was the setup to stretch the opponent from one flank to another, to quickly transfer the ball between zones?

— We understood that France would defend very compactly inside, that we would be blocked as much as possible in the center. We emphasized that, as well as playing with a false "nine" to distract defenders who operate very high. Our fast wingers had to run into these areas. But I am very pleased that in the situation when Mudryk and Sudakov changed places, George took this role and broke into the space that he created for him with his discovery of Kryskiv. We must take advantage of this match.

I would also like to mention the French national team. This is a very powerful team, a good team, individually skilled. I am satisfied with the fact that our boys responded to the result with both individual skill and character, did not lose their temper, but quickly returned to the game.

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