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NIKITA RUKAVYTSYA...Out to make an impression
NIKITA Rukavytsya wants to impress for club and country after earning a move from relegated Hertha Berlin to Bundesliga club Mainz.
Forward Rukavytsya clinched a deadline-day move from Hertha to Mainz on Friday, ensuring an immediate return to the German top flight after the capital city side were demoted last season.
He has had little time to celebrate, however, departing soon after for Beirut, where he will hope to be involved for the Socceroos in their friendly against Lebanon on Thursday.
The match will serve as preparation for next Tuesday's crucial AFC World Cup qualifier against Jordan in Amman, with Rukavytsya highlighting the importance of the match to Australia's quest to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"The Lebanon game is leading up to the qualifier so it's going to be a good preparation," he said from the Socceroos camp in Beirut.
"Going into the next game, we have to win, so we have to be switched on and get the three points."
Rukavytsya's move to Mainz reportedly cost the Rhine river club €1 million, with the former Perth Glory and FC Twente player signing until the end of the 2014/15 season.
The 25-year-old revealed he would miss Berlin, but was delighted to get another chance in the top flight.
"It's a good move for me. Obviously to play in the Bundesliga," said Rukavytsya, who made 58 appearances for Hertha, scoring six goals. "(It's) one of the top leagues in the world.
"It was sort of sad to leave Berlin. I've been there for two years and I love the club, the people. I have friends there.
"(The Bundesliga is) a great league with a lot of great players. There's no easy games, even if you play against the bottom team, it's still a tough game.
"Anything can happen in this league, so you have to be switched on every week and do your best in every game."