12 March 2022, 16h01


Myron, Oleksii, Illia and Nikita are the first four of about 30 young Ukrainians that Sport Lisboa e Benfica, through its Foundation, will receive and help them integrate into Portugal.  Accompanied by their families, these four children, who played at the Club's Soccer Schools in Kyiv and Kharkiv, have smiled again and have a sparkle in their eyes. 

Acolhimento de refugiados da Ucrânia 

"They are youngsters who played in the two Soccer Schools that Benfica has in Ukraine, in Kharkiv and Kyiv. We expect to receive about 30 youngsters that we are helping, them and their families", revealed Carlos Moia, executive president of the Benfica Foundation to BTV.

"It is very hard to see the images we see [of the war in Ukraine]. We are here to help", he added.

Acolhimento de refugiados da Ucrânia

Fernando Pinto, executive coordinator of the Benfica Soccer Schools, explained how this welcoming and integration process will be developed.

"Whenever we have a Soccer School close to where they are - not all of them will stay in Lisbon - that is where they will start their sports practice. If there is a Soccer School nearby, great, if not, we will find clubs that have a good framework for them. Surely everyone will make themselves available to help this cause", he claimed.

The happiness on the faces of the four children was evident, and they still had time to show off their football skills, which impressed Rui Costa, and show off their knowledge of Benfica.  At the end, a common message: "I want to play for the Club!

Text: Marco Rebelo
Photos: Isabel Cutileiro / SL Benfica
Last update: Saturday, March 12, 2022

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