Midfielder Marlos called up to Ukraine for 2018 World Cup qualifiers
KYIV. Sept 30 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko has called up Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian-born midfielder Marlos Romero Bonfim to Ukraine's national football team, the press service of the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) has reported.
"The Brazilian, who has played (for Metalist Kharkiv and Shakhtar Donetsk) in Ukraine for five years, was granted Ukrainian citizenship two days ago. On September 28, the respective decree was signed by the Ukrainian president," reads the report.
On September 29, FFU received a letter from the Brazilian Football Confederation confirming that Marlos did not participate in any official matches for Brazil. Thus, Marlos meets all the criteria to compete for the Ukrainian national team.
On October 2, Marlos, along with 25 other players previously called up by Shevchenko, will arrive in Kharkiv.
Ukraine will play two decisive World Cup qualifiers away to Kosovo and at home to Croatia on October 6 and 9 respectively. Two wins would guarantee Ukraine second spot in Group I and a likely playoff to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.