Arsenal offer 'mark of respect and love' to Ukraine with Zinchenko gesture vs Leicester

Arsenal have made Oleksandr Zinchenko captain for their trip to face Leicester City on Saturday afternoon, with the Ukrainian stepping in for usual skipper Martin Odegaard as ‘a mark of respect and love’ one day after the first anniversary of his country’s ongoing conflict with Russia.

Vladimir Putin’s military assault on Ukraine has left at least 8,000 civilians dead and forced millions more to flee the country. Zinchenko, who was born in Radomyshl, has been outspoken in opposing the conflict and broke down in tears during a press conference last year.

“Every Ukrainian wants one thing – to stop this war,” he told reporters. “I have spoken with people from all around the world, from different countries. I have also spoken to some Ukrainian kids who just don’t understand what’s happening back in Ukraine. They only want the war to stop. They have one dream, to stop the war.”

Exactly one year and a day on from the beginning of the invasion, Arsenal have made Zinchenko captain for their trip to Leicester as a mark of ‘love and respect’ for the defender, who has been a smash hit since signing from Manchester City in the summer.


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