On Wednesday Shakhtar Donetsk used extra time to defeat a stingy Werder Bremen side, 2-1, in the final of the UEFA Cup, a tournament that will get rebranded as the Europa League next season. After expressing his pride, Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu quickly switched his focus to the biggest prize in European club soccer.
"This first trophy is fantastic,'' Lucescu said. "There is a great feeling of satisfaction and I am extremely happy. But we want other things. We want to do something in the Champions League." He added: "My aim is to continue to build this team, to make it better than it is today. I have this passion and want to give my players this conviction. The Champions League will be the aim for Eastern European countries. Now I think Eastern European countries have the chance to win the Champions League and we will try to do it.''
A fast-rising club in Europe, Shakhtar depend on a quintet of Brazilians (Willian, Fernandinho, Ilsinho, Adriano and Jadson) for much of their attacking prowess. Adriano gave Shakhtar the lead on Wednesday by latching onto a through-ball and chipping Tim Wiese, the Bremen goalkeeper. Bremen equalized with a thunderous free kick from their own Brazilian, Naldo, in the 35th minute. Jadson's winner in extra time then secured the spoils for Lucescu's team, which became the first Ukrainian side to win a European trophy.