Zenit Saint Petersburg’s Malcom has revealed it was the “best news ever” when he was given the all clear to face Chelsea in the Champions League next week.
The Brazilian alongside his teammate, Claudinho, was initially ruled out of the game after the Brazilian FA requested FIFA to impose bans on the players who failed to report to international duty due to Covid-19 fears.
However, the decision was reverted on Friday evening, allowing Malcom to face-off against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
And the Brazilian revealed the clearance was one of the best news he had heard speaking to Zenit’s official website.
“I spoke with my girlfriend about it and said that if I can’t play against either Akhmat or Chelsea, it would be one of the saddest things that’s happened to me,” Malcom said.
“Fortunately, we got the letter this morning and I was told I can play. I was extremely happy, this is some of the best news I’ve ever received! The starting XI was decided yesterday, but I’m happy I was able to come on in the second half and help us get the win.”
Malcom scored for Zenit on Saturday afternoon coming off the bench in a 3-1 victory against FC Akhmat Grozny.
And the Brazilian is relishing the opportunity to play the European Champions even though he admits Zenit will face a tough challenge.
“We all know this will be a difficult match and we understand that we will need to defend a lot and look for chances on the counterattack.
“We will have to work twice as much as be twice as quick as we did today. But I am sure that we will have chances and we will try to take those chances.”
Chelsea are heading into the game in good form and are yet to lose a competitive game this season.
Zenit are currently the holders of the Russian Premier League and are leading the table once again after seven games played.