Football

Romania Vs Ukraine, UEFA Euro 2024: Preview, Prediction, Head To Head, Key Players

Serhiy Rebrov believes his team will display "the spirit of Ukraine" in their Euro 2024 opener against Romania on Monday. They qualified for the tournament in Germany, with that success coming against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of the nation, which began in February 2022

Ukraine face Romania on Monday
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Serhiy Rebrov believes his team will display "the spirit of Ukraine" in their Euro 2024 opener against Romania on Monday. (More Football News)

Ukraine qualified for the tournament in Germany, with that success coming against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of the nation, which began in February 2022.

Ukraine reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, eventually going down to England, and they could be a team to keep a close eye on.

Coach Rebrov is confident his team will take plenty of spirit into the competition, telling reporters: "All the players, me personally, are getting lots of messages from our fighters, from our soldiers, from our friends who are now fighting for the freedom of Ukraine.

"I am sure they are very proud of us, we are very proud of them. They are telling [us], when you are here 'show the spirit of Ukraine'. This tournament is really about the spirit of our country.

"It is very good and very important for Ukraine to be in this forum.

"Because all Ukrainians want to be a European nation. Of course now in our country, football is not in first place. There are lots of people dead, lots of kids dead. Now is a very difficult time for Ukraine."

Rebrov is managing at his first major international tournament. The former Tottenham striker did not appear for his country at the Euros, but did play four games at the 2006 World Cup, scoring in a 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

Defender Ilya Zabarnyi added: "For me it is a great honour to represent Ukraine. You know what times we are going through now. I feel incredible responsibility for my actions but I'm not worried about my game.

"We understand where we are and what we need to do. It is football and we need to play with a cold head."

Belgium and Slovakia are the other teams Ukraine are set to contend with in Group E.

Ukraine have failed to score in six of their nine group stage games at the Euros, scoring exactly two goals in each of the other three – 2-1 wins over Sweden (2012) and North Macedonia (2020), and a 2-3 loss to Netherlands in 2020.

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