ndriy Yarmolenko said it was impossible for him to think about football and thanked his West Ham team-mates, fans and the British people for their support after scoring on his return.
The Ukraine international came off the bench to find the net against Aston Villa in his first appearance since the Russian invasion of his native country.
Yarmolenko collapsed to his knees in celebration and was in tears as he returned to the halfway line on an emotional day at the London Stadium.
“It was so emotional for me because of the situation in my country,” Yarmolenko told Sky Sports. “It’s so hard for me right now to think about football because every day the Russian army kills Ukrainians.
“It was so emotional. To be honest, I don’t know what to say. I just want to say thank you to my teammates, who support me all the time, every day.
“To the West Ham fans, they also support me and the Ukrainians and all the Brits because we feel that you support us. Thank you really.
“I felt the support from the fans and tried to give my all on the pitch because I know how important the game was for us today. I’m not 100% ready because the last two weeks, I trained maybe three or four times.
“Since February 26, I had to rest for four days because it was impossible to train, I was just thinking about my family and my people. I just tried to give my all on the pitch.
“For me, it’s really important to feel the support of the manager, my team-mates and the fans. When I feel it, I give everything for the fans and the club.”