Despite missing half the season through injury, Ukraine captain Andriy Shevchenko has been named among Oleh Blokhin’s 26 man preliminary squad for the forthcoming European Championships.
The Dynamo Kiev striker had missed five months after being substituted in a 1-0 win over Obolon back in November.
He did return in time to feature in Kiev’s final six games of the season – starting their last three – though his total of sixteen league appearances is his lowest since making his professional debut in the 1994/95 season.
He won his first of 105 caps in the same year, and in that time has scored a record 46 goals for Ukraine.
So can Shevchenko shine on the big stage one last time? The truth is that, for Ukraine, the issue is something of a moot point.
He is one of only two all-time top scorers set to represent his country at the Championships, the other being Robbie Keane of the Republic of Ireland.
Shevchenko is a 50/1 shot to score the most goals in the tournament. Punters who use their free £25 bet will see a return of £1,275 if the former AC Milan and Chelsea forward wins the golden boot.
So can Shevchenko shine on the big stage one last time? The truth is that, for Ukraine, the issue is something of a moot point thanks to the form of the veteran’s Dynamo Kiev teammate Andriy Yarmolenko.
The 22-year-old finished the domestic campaign as Kiev’s joint top scorer and has netted four times in his last seven internationals, making him almost certain to be in the starting line-up against Sweden on June 11th.
Ukraine Premier League top scorer Yevhen Seleznyov of Shakhtar Donetsk, Marko Devic (Metalist Kharkiv), Andriy Voronin (Dinamo Moscow), and Artem Milevskiy (Dynamo Kiev) are Ukraine’s other attacking options
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