Zozulya with Dnipro in 2016
|Full name||Roman Vyacheslavovych Zozulya|
|Date of birth||17 November 1989|
|Place of birth||Kyiv, Soviet Union|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2017||→ Rayo Vallecano (loan)||0||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 December 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 June 2019
Roman Vyacheslavovych Zozulya (Ukrainian: Роман В'ячеславович Зозуля, born 17 November 1989) is a Ukrainian footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Albacete Balompié and the Ukrainian national team.
On 27 February 2014, in a Europa League match against Tottenham Zozulya was sent off after he directed a head-butt towards Jan Vertonghen. Zozulya was sent off and had to be restrained from attacking Vertonghen, who was accused of faking the degree of contact. Tottenham went on to win the game 3–1, knocking Dnipro out of the Europa League.
On 31 January 2017, Zozulya joined Rayo Vallecano on loan until the end of the season. His arrival was met with protests from the club's fans, unhappy over his purported far-right links after a picture of him wearing a shirt with the Tryzub and lyrics of poet Taras Shevchenko was misinterpreted as featuring the logo of the Right Sector. Zozulya vehemently denied any such links in an open letter to Rayo's fans, declaring that he has only assisted the legitimate Ukrainian army during the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. On 1 February 2017, Zozulya had his contract cancelled due to the reactions of Rayo fans and returned to Betis. This meant that he could not play anymore in the 2016–17 season because the Royal Spanish Football Federation rules say players cannot register for more than two teams in one campaign.
On 8 September 2017, free agent Zozulya signed a one-year contract with Albacete Balompié. On 25 March 2019 Zozulya endured more harassment during an Albacete away game against CD Lugo, when the fans of the latter club sang chants aimed at Zozulya, explicitly wishing him death for supposedly supporting the Nazi political movement. As a result of the incident, the fans of Albacete requested that La Liga seriously punish Lugo. Zozulya received the best player award for the month of October 2019, based on the fans' votes. On 15 December 2019, the league game between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was abandoned by the referee, after abuse and threats from the home fans over Zozulya's alleged far-right-wing political views. The second half of the game was scheduled to be played the following June, following the resumption of football after the coronavirus pandemic.
Roman debuted for Ukraine on 2 June 2010 against Norway at Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo. He scored a goal after Yevhen Konoplyanka fired a long shot at Jon Knudsen, who fumbled with the ball and let Roman kick the ball into the net. He was substituted in the 81st minute. He was member of the Ukrainian 23-man squad for UEFA Euro 2016.
Outside of football
Zozulya is the founder of the Narodna Armiya (People's Army) organisation which is a part of the civil volunteer movement helping Ukrainian forces in the war in Donbass. In particular Zozulya's organisation is providing food, clothing and technical equipment to Ukrainian Army and helps families of the military. In 2016, he received a special commendation from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for his support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Accusations of Nazi sympathies
In December 2019, a match between the Spanish teams Rayo Vallecano and Albacete (Roman Zozulya's former and current clubs) was suspended, when the former club's fans loudly accused the player of being a sympathizer of Nazi ideology, due to his known support of the Azov Battalion as well as other images he had posted on his Twitter account, which contained references to Nazi symbolism or organizations claimed to support Nazism.
- As of 17 June 2019
|Dynamo Kyiv||2007–08||Ukrainian Premier League||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk||2011–12||Ukrainian Premier League||15||3||2||1||1||0||0||0||18||4|
- As of 14 June 2019
|1.||2 June 2010||Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo, Norway||Norway||0–1||0–1||Friendly|
|2.||22 March 2013||National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland||Poland||1–3||1–3||WC 2014 Qual|
|3.||15 November 2013||Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex, Kiev, Ukraine||France||1–0||2–0||WC 2014 Qual|
|4.||29 May 2016||Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Turin, Italy||Romania||1–1||3–4||Friendly|
FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
- Ukraine: Decoration of the President of Ukraine for Humanitarian Participation in the Anti-Terrorist Operation
- Ukraine: Honorary badge of the Chief of General Staff for Services to the Armed Forces of Ukraine
- Mike Dyce. "Europa League: Roman Zozulya gets straight red for head butting Tottenham player, chaos ensues (GIF)". fanside.com. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Jan Vertonghen Defends Himself Over Accusations of Simulation for Roman Zozulya Red Card. In May 2015 Zozulya and Dnipro went on to the final of the Europa League, but his team lost, 3-2". insidefutbol.com. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "UEFA Europa League: Tottenham 3 Dnipro 1". FourFourTwo. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Real Betis signs Roman Zozulya". Real Betis. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- "Zozulya: Rayo sign forward following ideology controversy". AS English. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- Ukrainians cry foul over accusations of neo-Nazi links against striker Zozulia, UNIAN (1 February 2017)
- Roman Zozulya: Player's Rayo Vallecano loan spell ends as fans call him Nazi, BBC News (1 February 2017)
- "Roman Zozulya, nuevo jugador del Alba" [Roman Zozulya, new player of Alba] (in Spanish). Albacete Balompié. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- Zozulya helped Albacete to sack Lugo, fans of which shocked by songs which death to the Ukrainian (Зозуля допоміг Альбасете розгромити Луго – фанати шокували піснями з побажанням смерті українцю). Football24.ua. 23 March 2019
- "Zozulia, Jugador Cinco Estrellas de octubre | Albacete Balompié". Zozulia, Jugador Cinco Estrellas de octubre | Albacete Balompié (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "Rayo-Albacete game suspended after nazi insults to Zozulia". AS.com. 15 December 2019.
- "Spanish football to resume a day early with second half of abandoned match". BBC Sport. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
- (in Ukrainian) God loves Trinity
- Zozulia nets winner on Ukraine debut
- Ukraine team
- Юрий Сай (29 April 2015). Роман Зозуля презентовал фонд "Народная армия", который будет помогать нашим воинам (in Russian). fakty.ua. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- Роман Зозуля совместно с волонтерами Днепропетровска основали фонд "Народная Армия" (in Russian). dneprpost.com.ua. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
- "Rayo Vallecano v Albacete abandoned as fans call Roman Zozulya a Nazi". BBC Sport. 15 December 2019.
- "Zozulya, Roman". National Football Teams. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
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