– Henrikh, the first question is probably still a bit non-football. Have you read that Gaitana is ready to singShakhtar’s anthem in Armenian? What do you make of it?
– Of course, I read that. For me the most important thing is not to score 25 goals, so that she could sing Shakhtar anthem in Armenian. The important thing for me is to help the team win our every game.
– What stimulates you more – an opportunity to listen to the anthem in your honour or to beat Starukhin’s record?
– To be honest, for me the most important thing is Shakhtar’s team game and victory. If I manage to break the records of Starukhin and of the Ukrainian league since independence – I think it will also be very nice. But the teamwork is paramount for me.
– And did you discuss your goalscoring record with the teammates and the coach?
– Well, it was kind of quasi-communication so to say. The lads said: “If there’s a penalty – we’ll let you score.” I replied, “No, thanks, I want to score all the goals on the run.”
– Continuing the playful theme, will you help Gaitana sing it in Armenian?
– If, God forbid, I reach the 25-goal mark – I think she should sing it without waiting for me to translate the lyrics.
– Dmytro Selyuk claims that there is a great interest from the English clubs towards you. Do you know anything about this?
– I do not know, I haven’t spoken to him yet. It’s none of my business. I think if he has some suggestions – please let him refer to the club. My job is to play. Now I am a player of Shakhtar, and I am interested in nothing else, since I have two more months to go. I must do my best to win everything with this team.
– But do you want to play in Europe?
– This is a different matter. I am not going to answer it now, because the time has not come for this conversation yet. My heart is in Donetsk, with Shakhtar. And at the end of the season it will be clear – let them talk with the president, let him agree. And only then, if indeed there is an offer, I’ll consider it.
– Is Darijo Srna’s example close to you vision?
– Everything is possible in life. I can’t deny anything, hence my reluctance to talk on this topic.
– After Dynamo, don’t you have a feel that the league season is over and all the tasks are fulfilled?
– No, I don’t. The fight continues. Despite the fact that we are just four points from the league title, we should do everything to win the remaining games. Shakhtar play every match to win, regardless of whether it’s a league game or a friendly game.
– Henrikh, were there such cases in your career when your goal was assigned to someone else first, but then justice was re-established?
– No, this is the first such case in my career. It was nice to see after the game that I was registered as the scorer. This is my 21st goal. But the most important thing is the victory over Dynamo, because the fight was not easy at all. I think that we haven’t played such a game against them for ages, being very interesting and challenging one.
– What does Mister say about the 25th goal? Maybe, you’ll mark it somehow or the team will present you with some gift?
– No, they haven’t said anything. But most importantly, the team are glad that I scored. I am delighted at that.
– Henrikh, if we return to the subject of transfers, there are a lot of rumours in the press your move specifically to English Liverpool. How can you comment on this?
– Once again, let me tell you this. I do not know which team is interested in me, and if Dmytro Selyuk knows that well, then please contact him and ask him this question. My thoughts are with Shakhtar only and until the end of this season I’ll just think about this team and about my helping the club.
– Iker Casillas has a tradition of presenting the fans with his gloves after a game. If you score the memorable goal, will you present anyone with your boots?
– Boots? I will try to. (laughs) But I think that it will be possible to give them my T-shirt, if I score the 22nd goal.
– The current Ukrainian league record of 22 goals – is it a lot or not according to you?
– I think it’s OK, as long as they haven’t scored so many goals since long ago. Last time, my good friend Yevhen Seleznyov scored 17 goals, I would say that 22 goals is pretty decent, because it is difficult to score in the Ukrainian league, since most teams play defensively against Shakhtar.
– How hard is it for the team to play almost every game with unstable defense, because often a pair of central defenders and the left-backs are changed on a frequent basis. For example, the following match against Zorya will be missed by Yaroslav Rakitskiy due to suspension.
– I think that there won’t be any problems. Mister knows very well who he can field in that role. Yaroslav’s red card was forced, because, hadn’t he fouled, we might have conceded a goal, and he did everything to prevent it from happening. Despite his absence in the next match, we will make sure that this does not affect the game.
– Are Zorya a tough opposition after Dynamo?
– I think we will have no problems with switching from one opponent to another, because we know well how to do that. This is not our first time and most of the players are true professionals. Although we expect a tough game.
– Last season you helped Yevhen Seleznyov to win the Ukrainian league’s top scorer title. Do you have an agreement with your teammates – for them to feed you the ball, if similar situation happens again?
– No, I don’t. (smiling) I’d never ask. If I am not in the right position for scoring, it will be wrong. It is not necessary to focus on that, because if you feed just one player, it will not work. Therefore, if the timing is right for receiving a pass, I will be only happy about that. Everything will depend on how the game develops.
– You are wearing the T-shirt featuring Al Pacino. Is there any meaning in it for you?
– No, I just liked it, so I wear it.