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Andriy Shevchenko (Ukrainian: Андрій Миколайович Шевченко, Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko, nicknamed "Sheva", born September 29, 1976, Dvirkivschyna, Kiev Oblast) is a in Ukrainian football player who is a striker for A.C. Milan and the Ukrainian national team.
hevchenko started off his career with Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv, with whom he won five league titles and two national cups in five seasons between 1994 and 1999. He has won one Serie A title, one UEFA Champions League, one European Super Cup, one Italian Cup and one Italian League Super Cup with Milan till now.
He was named the European Footballer of the Year in 2004.
Shevchenko has represented Ukraine in 63 matches and scored 28 international goals.
1 Early life and Dynamo Kyiv career
2 AC Milan
3 International goals
5 Awards and honours
6 External links
Early life and Dynamo Kyiv career
Andriy was nine when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred in April 1986. His village, not far from Chernobyl, was also affected by the disaster, and his family was one amongst the thousands who had to abandon their homes and relocate to the coast to escape the after-effects. Later the same year, Andriy failed a dribbling test for entrance to a specialist sports school in Kyiv, as he had a mutated foot. But he happened to catch the sight of a Dynamo Kyiv scout while playing in a youth tournament, and was thus brought to the club. He was extremely successful in the youth system at the club, honing his skills in their junior teams. In 1990, Andriy, playing for the Dynamo Kyiv Under-14 team in the Ian Rush Cup in Wales, top scored in the tournament, and was awarded a pair of Rush's boots as prize by the Liverpool player himself.
In 1993-94, Andriy top-scored for Dynamo-2 with twelve goals, and made an appearance in the first team list for Dynamo Kyiv for next season. Andriy's debut in the league for Dynamo came under manager Yozef Szabo on 28 October 1994, in Donetsk, Dynamo defeating the home team Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1. He scored his first league goal in the 4-2 home win against Dnipro on December 1, 1994. Though that was the only goal that Shevchenko scored in the league that season, he scored another in two matches played in the UEFA Champions League, and also earned his national team call-up. His first cap for Ukraine was earned at the age of 19 years and 177 days, in a 0-4 loss to Croatia on 25 March, 1995 at Zagreb. Shevchenko's exceptional ability to convert scoring chances into goals was fully displayed next season, when he scored 16 goals in just 31 matches, taking Dynamo to their second successive league victory. He also scored his first international goal in May 1996, in a friendly against Turkey, at Samsun. Shevchenko won the league again next season with Dynamo, scoring 6 goals in 20 games. The next two seasons, 1997-98 and 1998-99, were abundantly productive for Shevchenko. The highlight of his 1997-98 season was his first-half hat-trick against FC Barcelona in the Champions League, helping Dynamo produce a shock 4-0 away win over the highly decorated Spanish side. His 19 goals in 23 league matches, 6 goals in 10 Champions League matches, and another league victory with Dynamo in 1997-98 was followed by 28 goals in all competitions in 1998-99, and the league top-scorer award for his 18 goals there. His exploits in the Champions League took Dynamo to the semifinal stage of the tournament, before they lost to Bayern Munich 3-4 on aggregate.
Shevchenko won the domestic league with Dynamo each of the five seasons he was with the club. Under the guidance of Valeri Lobanovsky, the manager of Dynamo from January 1997 to May 2002 (his third spell in the post), he flourished into one of the team's most prominent and skillful players.
In 1999 Shevchenko joined the then 5-time European Cup champions A.C. Milan for $26 million and has been one of their key players since.
Shevchenko made his Serie A debut on August 28, 1999 in a 2-2 draw with Lecce. The season turned out to be extremely fruitful personally, Shevchenko's haul of 24 league goals in 32 matches earned him the highest scorer title in the Serie A, Andriy becoming, in the process, the first non-Italian player to do so in his debut season. In March 2000, Lobanovsky was made the Ukrainian national team manager, with the aim to take Ukraine to the 2002 World Cup. Shevchenko scored 10 goals in the qualifiers, but Ukraine failed to qualify after losing the playoff against Germany, and Lobanovsky was sacked.
The next two seasons Shevchenko scored 34 goals in 51 matches, and 17 goals 38 matches respectively, in all competitions, but Milan could not win any silverware either season.
The disappointment of the past two seasons was overcome in 2002-03 as Milan won the Champions League as well as the Italian Cup. Though Shevchenko was not in top goal-scoring form in the league, netting only five times in 24 matches, he scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final against arch-rivals Juventus, giving Milan the title. Shevchenko is the first Ukrainian ever to win the Champions League.
2003-04 was another successful season for both Milan and Shevchenko. He top scored in the league for the second time in his career, scoring 24 goals in 32 matches and taking Milan to the league title after a gap of four years. He also scored the winning goal in the UEFA Super Cup against FC Porto, Milan winning the match 1-0, and their second trophy of the season.
In December of 2004 Shevchenko was named the European Footballer of the Year. He was also named by Pel? as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. Also in 2004, Shevchenko was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine by former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.
In August 2004, Andriy scored three goals against Lazio in the Italian Super Cup and earned Milan the title. In the same season of 2004-05, the club finished second in league standings, helped by the seventeen goals of Shevchenko. They also reached the final of the Champions League, with him scoring six goals in ten matches. But the successes of the season were greatly dampened in the final. The game against Liverpool ended 3-3 after extra-time, and went into penalties. Shevchenko missed his spot-kick, giving the English side the title.
In October 2005, Ukraine finally managed to qualify for the finals of a World Cup when they topped their qualification group for the 2006 World Cup, winning seven games out of twelve, and losing only one. Shevchenko was instrumental in this inspired performance by the team, scoring six goals out of the total eighteen by Ukraine.
During the summer of 2004 there were reports that Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea, offered a record sum of ?50 million and striker Hern?n Crespo to A.C. Milan in exchange for Andriy.Milan refused but took Crespo on loan. After that, the determined Abramovich was rumoured to offer another record sum of ?85 million to AC Milan and another record weekly wage of ?225,000 to transfer him to Chelsea, but was again refused.
In the 2005-06 season, Shevchenko has scored nine goals in the thirteen games that he has played in the league till now, and six goals in six Champions League matches. On November 23, 2005, in the Champions League group stage match against Fenerbah?e, Shevchenko scored four times, becoming only the fifth man after Marco van Basten, Simone Inzaghi, Dado Pr?o and Ruud van Nistelrooy to do so in one match in the competition. Shevchenko also led the Ukrainian national team to its first qualification for the World Cup, to take place in June 2006.