Euro 2012 team guide and squad: Ukraine
UKRAINE have never qualified for a European Championships as an independent country, although the USSR won the inaugural competition in 1960, beating what was then Yugoslavia.
Interestingly enough, a number of high profile Ukrainian players such as Andrei Kanchelskis and Victor Onopko, who had played for the USSR, chose to represent Russia following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and as such, the Ukraine maybe suffered as a result.
Ranked second lowest in this year’s tournament, the Ukraine will be hoping a mixture of youth and grizzled experience (with apologies to Anatoliy Tymoshchuk) can help them make their mark on the tournament they are co-hosting. All but two of the team play their club football in the Ukraine, and it is hoped national pride may spur the team on.
KEY PLAYER: English fans may well recognise a couple of the Ukrainian squad - particularly Alexei Voronin, who had a brief spell at Anfield with Liverpool, and Andriy Shevchenko, who spent time at Chelsea, but we can’t see beyond Andriy Yarmolenko. Likened to his namesake Shevchenko, and partnering him in Dynamo Kyiv’s forward line, Yarmolenko could inspire the Ukraine team to shine in their first ever Euros appearance.
WORLD RANKING: 52
June 11, 2012 Sweden (Kyiv, Ukr)
June 15, 2012 France (Donetsk, Ukr)
June 19, 2012 England (Donetsk, Ukr)
THE COACH: Oleh Blokhin is in his second stint managing the Ukrainian national team, having been at the helm from 2003-2007. Has spent much of his coaching career with club sides in Greece, and enjoyed a glittering playing career, scoring 211 goals in 432 appearances for Dynamo Kyiv, along with 42 goals in 112 appearances for the Soviet Union at national level. Blokhin’s first stint was largely underwhelming, save for the Ukraine reaching the last eight of the 2006 World Cup. As such, this will be Blokhin’s first appearance at a European Championships as coach of the Ukraine.
He said it... “It’s good that this poisoning didn’t happen on 11th June. If it happened on the 11th, I wouldn’t have 11 players. There wouldn’t be enough players for the team and I would have had to withdraw the team and cancel the match.” (on the stomach bug that struck his team down prior to the start of the tournament).
Oleksandr Goryainov (FC Metalist Kharkiv)
Maxym Koval (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Andriy Pyatov (FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
Bohdan Butko (FC Illychivets Mariupil)
Olexandr Kucher (FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
Taras Mikhalik (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Yaroslav Rakitskiy (FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
Yevhen Selin (FC Vorskla Poltava)
Yevhen Khacheridi (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Vyacheslav Shevchuk (FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
Olexandr Aliyev (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Denys Garmash (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Oleh Gusev (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Yevhen Konoplyanka (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk)
Serhiy Nazarenko (SC Tavriya Simferopol)
Ruslan Rotan (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk)
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (FC Bayern München)
Andriy Yarmolenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Andriy Voronin (FC Dinamo Moskva)
Marko Dević (FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
Artem Milevskiy (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Yevhen Seleznyov (FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
Andriy Shevchenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
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