Brazilian marksman Adriano happy in Ukraine
22 October 2014, 20:05
Donetsk - Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian forward Luiz Adriano, only the second player to score five goals in a Champions League game, is planning to finish his career in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Adriano equaled Lionel Messi's feat of hitting five in a match and also netted the third fastest hat-trick in Champions League history as Shakhtar beat BATE Borisov 7-0.
The 27-year-old, who Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu has called "the best Brazilian currently playing football", is also one of the most prolific scorers in the Ukrainian league, where he reached 100 goals last season.
Adriano, who joined Shakhtar in 2007 at the age of 19, said he would be happy to stay in Donetsk until the end of his career.
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"My current contract expires in 2015," Adriano told AFP. "However, I will be happy to finish my career in Shakhtar, the club which gave me so much."
Adriano said he had received plenty of positive recommendations about the club from fellow-Brazilians before joining Shakhtar. "Time has showed that it was a correct move - to join Shakhtar. Probably my best career move," Adriano said. He added that it took him about a year to adjust to Shakhtar playing style and manager Mircea Lucescu's demands.
"On arrival to Shakhtar I found out that Lucescu wanted me to spearhead the club's attack," he said. "Previously I'd been playing in the second attacking line. I spent almost a year adjusting myself to the new realities.
"But currently I feel myself completely comfortable within Lucescu's system of playing." Adriano added that he considered Lucescu to be the best coach to work with Brazilian players.
"He (Lucescu) was just born to work with Brazilians," he said.
"Though we (Brazilian players) have plenty of common football qualities we also have a lot of individual features that Lucescu helps every player develop and display."
The striker revealed he was considering becoming a Ukrainian citizen to make himself eligible for the national team.
"It's true, I have an intention to receive Ukrainian citizenship," the striker told the Ukrainian press.
"But my final decision will depend on the situation in Ukraine," Adriano added, alluding to the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country.
"In the case that things return to normal I will be happy to to receive a Ukrainian passport."
National coach Mikhail Fomenko has said he would be happy to have a forward of such class at his disposal, adding that Adriano would be called up to the national team the moment he received a Ukrainian passport.
Adriano has won six Ukrainian league titles, four cups and the 2009 UEFA Cup with Shakhtar.