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04th Mar 2022

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk’s former Ukraine teammates criticise him for remaining at Zenit

Simon Lloyd

Tymoshchuk is yet to say anything on Russia’s invasion and continues to work in St Petersburg

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Ukraine’s most capped footballer of all time, has been publicly criticised by former teammates for remaining silent over Russia’s invasion of his homeland.

Whereas the likes of Andriy Shevchenko and other well-known Ukrainian sporting figures have used their platform to speak out against the events of the last week, Tymoshchuk, who made 144 appearances for his country at senior level, has yet to say anything on the subject.

The former midfielder is perhaps best remembered for helping Bayern Munich win the Champions League in 2013. His time in Germany came between two spells playing in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg. Having called time on his playing career in 2016, he later returned to Zenit, where he is currently the assistant manager.

While current Ukrainian international Yaroslav Rakitskiy decided to leave Zenit earlier this week because of the attack on his country, Tymoshchuk – so far, at least – appears content to stay where he is. This has been noticed by some of his countrymen – namely Atalanta’s Ruslan Malinovskyi.

Malinovskyi’s international career briefly overlapped with Tymoshchuk and asked what he thought about his silence, he warned that the 42-year-old had already damaged his reputation.

“I don’t know about Tymoshchuk, you need to ask him,” he tweeted, as per the Daily Mail. “[It’s] Hard to comment but it’s weird [why he hasn’t said anything] – I think it’s not right.

“It’s 100% the case that he’s no longer or ever will be) a legend of Ukraine football.

“His previous achievements have been forgotten.”

These views were echoed by Yevgeny Levchenko, another former Ukrainian footballer. Tweeting Tymoshchuk directly, he said:

“You are from Ukraine. How can you be silent and continue to work there? We played together for the same team, put on this shirt with pride, sang the anthem, won and lost. Are you just silent now? Tolik, how are you going to live with this?”

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