Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The most emotional football story of the year

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Between heaven and hell: Bohdan Viunnyk fled the war in his native Ukraine to Switzerland and now plays for the FCZ professionals.


Bohdan Viunnyk (20) sits in the FCZ training center and shakes his head when he thinks about December a year ago. “I had the last game before the winter break with Mariupol. My dream of going abroad seemed far away. But now I’m sitting here as an FCZ player and I’ve played in the Europa League, including against Arsenal in front of 50,000 fans. I feel like I’m in a surreal movie.”

The Ukraine striker looks back on a year that he still can’t quite grasp. It’s the year of war. The year he came to Switzerland as a refugee with only his football boots in a backpack. But it’s also the year that brings him an unprecedented opportunity at a club in western Europe. “My dream came true. But in a completely different way than I ever thought,” he says, almost embarrassed.

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