Zinchenko to captain Man City in gesture of solidarity with Ukraine

By Sports Desk March 01, 2022

Oleksandr Zinchenko was to captain Manchester City at Peterborough United on Tuesday in his first appearance since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Ukraine international Zinchenko was on the bench at Everton on Saturday and pictured in tears as both teams showed their support for his nation at Goodison Park.

And further gestures were set to follow before the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Peterborough.

Zinchenko was to be at the forefront of those after he was named as City's skipper on the teamsheet, despite the club initially suggesting regular captain Fernandinho would lead the side.

Fernandinho, who spent eight years in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk before joining City, offered the armband to Zinchenko in a sign of solidarity.

"Our captain decided to give the armband to him to show how important the situation is," Pep Guardiola told ITV Sport. 

"We are all the club behind this gesture, behind our captain, who represents his country."

Zinchenko and Fernandinho were among six changes to the City side, with Jack Grealish also brought in after a spell out through injury.

Guardiola had confirmed on Monday that Zinchenko would be involved, saying: "I think it would be good for him to play and show the reason why he is here – he is a magnificent player – to play football."

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