Manager: Oleh Blokhin
Captain: Andriy Shevchenko
Star Player: Andriy Shevchenko
Bio: I Could write about Shevchenko the whole way through this blog and it wouldn’t be boring but I don’t want to do that so all I will say is the former Ac Milan and Chelsea man is still playing at the age of 35. his record of 106 caps and 46 goals. Not bad for a team that has struggled to get to the major tournaments.
I would rather talk about the guys that you may not know about. Well let me start by saying that one of their best players didn’t make the cut. In Aug 2009 Centre back Dmytro Chygrynskiy signed for Barcelona for 25 millions Euros. He was called a flop in Spain and only played 12 games before being homesick enough to return to Shakhtar Donetsk for 15 million Euros. Chygrynskiy didn’t make the cut.
All but 2 of these guys play in the Ukraine. They will know the stadiums better than most host nations. The likes of Milevskiy and Yarmolenko play together at Dynamo Kyiv as do 7 others and 6 play for Shakhtar. They know each other very well before they make the grade at international level. Milevskiy is one of their best players but in 44 games he has only managed 8 goals. The 22 year old Yarmolenko should be the best player for them. The Dynamo striker has started to take the pressure of a nation away from Shevchenko. He has 19 caps 8 goals to his name. not bad at all for a team like the Ukraine. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will pull the strings in the centre of midfield. The 33 year old who plays for Bayern Munich has over 100 caps for the Ukraine and they depend on him to dictate the tempo of a match in their favour.
I don’t expect Ukraine to make it out of the group stages. I don’t expect them to win a game but I also don’t think they will be pushovers by any stretch of the imagination. They are a decent team. A few years ago in world cup qualification they beat England at home and they had a good Draw with Germany Recently. The Problem is last season they played France and Sweden in home friendlies and lost them both. They were beaten by Sweden thanks to a Hysen goal in injury time and they lost to France 4-1 with goals coming from Gamerio, Martin and Kaboul and only scoring the one goal through Tymoshchuk