Set-pieces are always crucial when the margins of success and failure are so slim at the highest levels of the game, so Aliyev might just emerge as a trump card for Ukraine at Euro 2012.
A free-kick master, he has curled and blasted many a sublime effort into the back of the new from around the edge of the box, while his accuracy or delivery is another area of strength. Small in stature, he compensates with a fine array of skills that make his a wildcard for Ukraine boss Oleh Blokhin and his current club side Dynamo Kiev, who he joined from Lokomotiv Moscow last year.
“We know what is at stake this summer as every member of the Ukraine side has a chance to become a hero for a generation,” says Aliyev, who made his international debut in September 2008. “This is an opportunity we cannot ignore.”