The shining icon of Ukrainian football and his national team’s all-time record goal scorer is hardly rocking into Euro 2012 displaying the best of form or fitness, but Shevchenko has earned his crack at success in this tournament after a record breaking career that has put his nation’s soccer firmly on the European map.
Most notable for his stunning scoring achievements with AC Milan, ‘Sheva’ joined the Serie A giants for a €25m in 1999 and went on to score goals plenty in the red and black stripes. An Italian league and cup winner with Milan, he claimed Champions League glory with the Rossoneri in 2003.
His record busting €35m move to Chelsea in the summer of 2005 gave Shevchenko the chance to confirm his class in a different league, but he fluffed his lines horribly in west London as he looked like a player whose best days had been left behind him in Italy. A spell back on loan with Milan preceded his move home with his first club Dynamo in the summer of 2009.
At international level, Shevchenko led his nation to the last eight of the 2006 World Cup finals, as well scoring a host of vital goals, but none will be as important as those he hopes to bag at Euro 2012.
Here’s hoping reports of injuries and a less than cordial relationship with national team boss Oleh Blokhin do not stand in Shevchenko’s way of taking centre stage this summer.