Andriy Shevchenko – Football Star from Kiev
Ukrainian-born Andriy Shevchenko is a talented football player who currently plays for Chelsea in the English Premier League. Shevchenko is widely considered to be one of the world’s most effective offensive players, earning the position of top scorer of the Italian Serie A leagues in both 2000 and 2004. He was the recipient of the Ballon D’or in 2004 and in the same year was included in the FIFA 100 – a list compiled by renowned Brazilian striker Pelé.
Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko was born in Dvirkivschyna in the Kiev Oblast of Ukraine on 29 September 1976. He was nine years old when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster struck in April 1986, resulting in the evacuation of his home village. Later in 1986, while Shevchenko was playing in a youth football tournament, a Dynamo Kyiv scout took note of his talent and invited him to join the club. Four years later, Shevchenko played on the Dynamo Kyiv under-14 team competing for the Ian Rush Cup in Wales, and finished as the top scorer of the tournament. For this achievement he was awarded a pair of Rush’s boots presented to him by the celebrated player himself. Between 1992 and 1999, Shevchenko notched up a host of achievements and awards as member of the Dynamo Kyiv team.
In what was at the time a record transfer fee of $25 million, Shevchenko moved over to A.C. Milan in 1999, where he continued to impress fans and fellow players with his skills. After making his Serie A debut on 28 August 1999, he went on to score 24 goals in 32 matches and became the first foreign player to win the Serie A scoring title. The 2003-2004 Serie A season saw Shevchenko clinch the honor of top goal scorer and finished off the year by earning the title of 2004 European Player of the Year. During the 2004-2005 season, Shevchenko missed several games due to a fractured cheekbone. Nevertheless, the games he played proved to be memorable and on 8 February 2006, he became A.C. Milan’s second all-time goalscorer.
After extensive negotiations between the two teams, in May 2006, Shevchenko left A.C. Milan to join Chelsea for a record fee of £30 million. Wearing the number seven shirt, Shevchenko made his debut for Chelsea on 13 August 2006, playing in the FA Community Shield and scoring his side’s only goal in its 2-1 loss to Liverpool. He continued to score goals throughout the following seasons, but missed the 2006-2007 Champions League semi-finals and FA Cup Final due to injury and a hernia operation. The 2007-2008 season saw Shevchenko finish with five league goals.
Representing his home country, Ukraine, Shevchenko scored ten goals in the qualifiers for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, but having lost a play-off against Germany, Ukraine failed to qualify. Shevchenko represented the Ukraine national team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and scored a total of five goals in Ukraine’s Euro 2008 qualifiers. Certainly, it can be said that Andriy Shevchenko has not forgotten his roots.