Shakhtar news

Shakhtar will play 'as if it were a final'

February 11, 2013
By ESPN staff

New Shakhtar Donetsk signing Taison is looking to make his debut at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, and insists his side will play their last-16 game 'as if it were a final'.

Taison
GettyImagesTaison opted to stay in Ukraine

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Taison, who joined the Ukrainian champions from Metalist Kharkiv in January, snubbed interest from Chelsea in order to stay in Eastern Europe and is keen to make an impression quickly.

"I'm happy," he told UEFA.com. "It's a new chance, a new challenge for me at a big club like Shakhtar, and I hope I will be able to help my team-mates."

Indeed, the Brazilian midfielder is overjoyed to be allowed to play in Europe, having helped Kharkiv in the UEFA Europa League group stages.

"The [UEFA Champions League] clubs are stronger," he said. "We have an important match against Borussia who are a great team. And we are working hard to play that match as if it were a final. So we hope to take them on and come away with a victory."

Ukraine will certainly be a tough test for Dortmund and Taison admits it has taken him some time to get used to things, even though he has been in the country for two years.

"The worst thing is the cold; it's very cold, it gets down to -20, -18 sometimes and we boys from Brazil, where it doesn't get so cold, really get to know what cold is," he added. "But I've adapted well, I'm calmer now, I'm more accustomed to everything. Now I have a new club, with new Brazilian team-mates who are helping me a lot."