KIEV (Reuters) – Shakhtar Donetsk striker Junior Moraes has become the latest Brazilian-born player to join the Ukraine national team after being named on Tuesday in the squad for the European Championship Group B qualifiers against Portugal and Luxembourg.
Coach Andriy Shevchenko called up the 31-year-old the day after he was granted a Ukrainian passport, the Football Federation of Ukraine said.
“Ukraine is the country my family chose to live in seven years ago. Our children went to school here. We had many chances to leave the country but each time decided to stay because we are happy here,” Moraes was quoted as saying by Shakhtar’s website.
Moraes leads the Ukrainian Premier League scoring charts with 16 goals from 22 games and also has six assists.
He is the third Brazilian player naturalised by the Ukrainian team in their history and can make his debut against Portugal on March 22 in Lisbon or Luxembourg three days later.
(Reporting by Igor Nitsak; Editing by Christian Radnedge)