Shakhtar striker Luiz Adriano apologises for controversial goal against Nordsjaelland
By Paulo Freitas. Last Updated: November 23, 2012 3:19pm
Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano has apologied for his controversial goal against Nordsjaelland in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons with his 26th minute strike against the Danish club in their 5-2 victory in Group E that saw the Ukrainian giants progress to the last 16.
Apparently unaware that his Shakhtar team-mate Willian was attempting to play the ball back to Nordsjaelland goalkeeper after Morten Nordstrand had received treatment for his injury, Adriano latched on to it and scored.
That caused widespread criticism of the player, with UEFA charging him for "violation of the principles of conduct", and he has now apologised for his actions.
"I am sorry for what happened and I promise that this will never happen again. I will focus more on the pitch and completely respect the Fair Play rules."
"I didn't see when the play started as I was with my back to the ball and in front of opponent's goal," he told Lancenet. "I was in the attacking area and I didn't realise what happened in our half of the pitch.
"I was very focused on the game and when the ball came near me and the defenders reacted, I reached for the ball, dribbled past the goalkeeper and scored. After all, that's my job - I am a striker!
"I now understand what happened and I have changed my opinion about the incident. I am really sorry that happened. I apologise to the Shakhtar fans and to UEFA.
"I have never been involved in an incident like that and I always respected, still respect and will keep respecting the Fair Play rules.
"So once again, I am sorry for what happened and I promise that this will never happen again. I will focus more on the pitch and completely respect the Fair Play rules."