Marseille fan, mule strike and heart on his sleeve… Who is Ruslan Malinovskyi, OM’s new player?
Olympique de Marseille have just signed the 29-year-old Ukrainian player from Atalanta Bergamo. The latter intends to conquer the hearts of the fans of the club of the Marseille city. He also always thinks of the Ukrainians who are victims of the war that is raging at the moment.
After a few minutes of play against Lorient a few days ago, Ruslan Malinovskyi should play for the first time at the Vélodrome in a home match against Lorient this Saturday.
Despite an expected arrival last summer, the 29-year-old Ukrainian player was unable to join the ranks of Olympique de Marseille this month from Atalanta Bergamo thanks to a loan with a compulsory purchase option of around 10 million euros, plus three in bonuses. He is the first Ukrainian to play for the Marseille club since Dmytro Nepogodov, the team’s goalkeeper in the 2008-2009 season.
Officially presented by the president of OM Pablo Longoria last Thursday, confided this Thursday to the press.
Unfailing support for fellow citizens who are victims of war
On Monday, just minutes after his medical examination, Ruslan Malinovskyi went to meet Ukrainian children and their families, refugees in Marseille. A possible meeting thanks to the Marseille club: “It was a very important gesture on the part of the club, I was happy to see fellow citizens”, he declared at the end of this meeting.
If he plays today in France, he always has a thought for his family who remained in Ukraine: “There was the match in the Europa League against Olympiakos and the same morning, the bombings started. The coach told me asked if I felt like playing. I said yes, because if I can bring joy by playing for an hour and a half to my friends and the people who support me from Ukraine, I do it.”
Involved “with charities”, he “sent food and clothing in particular” from Italy. “I will continue from Marseille,” he said.
“I can do even more, go higher”
Arriving at OM, Ruslan Malinovskyi feels like he is taking a big step in his career: “This team wants to win trophies (…). Here, there is a great history, great tifosi, a superb stadium “It’s the biggest club in France and that’s why I’m here. I had no doubts and I said yes straight away to my agent.”
The Ukrainian also intends to show that he does not intend to rest on his laurels: “I am 29 years old, it is a good age, I can still progress. I do not think I have reached my maximum. I can still do more, go higher.”
No doubt he will be able to prove his point tonight at home against Lorient at 7 p.m., against the Marseille public and the Ukrainian families he met on Monday, also invited for his first match at the Vélodrome.
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