Andrey Shevchenko

Andrey was born in a small village in Kiev region in the family of a military man. Before his birth , Shevchenko’s family lived in Germany, where his father was on military service. However, his family returned home before the baby was born, in addition,  Andrey’s father was about to  transfer to Kiev military district.  So in a twist of fate the future legendary football player was born in Ukraine, not in Germany, where this could have happened.  In this village Shevchenko didn’t live long, soon his parents made a decision to move to the capital of Ukraine.

After they came to Kiev, Andrey began to study in an ordinary school  №216, it was the  time when he “made friends” with football.  He played in a usual team, where Alexander Shpakov (a coach of junior team of Dinamo) noticed him. Shpakov invited him without any doubts. However, Andrey’s parents  didn’t accept this idea with joy, firstly, Shevchenko’s father wanted his son to become an officer or even a general, secondly, the training took place on the other side of the city. Andrey, who got inspired with the idea of playing football, along with Shpakov, managed to persuade his parents that it was worth it.

Everything went pretty well until on one of the wonderful spring days the nuclear explosion in Chernobyl took place, the urgent evacuation of people , who lived in that area, began. Where, why and for how long – nobody knew. However, time went by and things gradually settled down. Having come back home, the boy began training more zealously, he participated in youth tournaments and was among happy candidates for a trip to Europe.

Dreams must come true and a dream of twelve year old Andrey also came true – he flew not simply to Europe,  he appeared in Italy, the country, where football is more than just a game. Having visited the famous stadium San Siro, he once and for all decided that he would by all means return here as a professional player.

Since then all of Andrey’s thoughts were devoted to football only. Regular trainings, competitions and tournaments were the reason of the guy’s bad marks at school, however, teachers loved him and gave him special treatment.

But low school marks didn’t prevent him from showing good skill in a football field. Shevchenko remembered year 1990 for a long time : the victory in a friendly tournament “Ian Rush cup”, the title of the best striker and the incredible gift from the star of Liverpool, Ian Rush, – the brand new football boots.

Having finished school, the future football star tried to enter the Kiev university of physical education, however, he failed the  exams. The leaders of Dinamo came to save his position on time – Shevchenko was taken to university and later to the Olympic team,  a year later the young man played in the Champions League.

On November 8, 1994 the brilliant Andrey’s debut took place – he played in the first team against Donetsk Miner and scored his first goal on December 1 that year in the match against Dnieper.

Year 1994 was noted by the fans owing to the victory over Spanish Barcelona, the score was amazing – 4:0. Shevchenko made a hat-trick and therefore was called  the best Ukrainian football player in the Champions league.

Milan

Even then Milan was ready to pay 17 million dollars for the talented Ukrainian, but this sum  seemed  insufficient to the leaders of Dinamo and the deal failed. Two years later Silvio Berlusconi increased the sum up to 25 million dollars. Grigoriy Surkis , the owner of Dinamo, couldn’t miss the chance , besides, everyone knew that Milan had been more than just a team for Shevchenko. Thus, in 1999 the transfer was made and finally Andrey appeared in the team he dreamt about.

Andrey quickly got used to it – he demonstrated wonderful playing in the field and was in good relationships with the players. Thus, in the first season the Ukrainian player scored 24 goals , more than any other player did. The same number of goals was scored  the next season, however, now he took only the second place. Ernanu Crespo – the main rival of Shevchenko among strikers – was two goals ahead of Andrey.

The track record of Shevchenko included many various awards : the Italian cup, the Champions league (he scored the crucial penalty kick into the goal of a strong rival – Italian Juventus), the Super Bowl UEFA and the championship of Italy, you can list it endlessly. In 2004 Shevchenko was awarded several prizes – “the golden ball” as the best player of Europe, as well as the title of the hero of Ukraine.

It’s worth noticing that the players of Milan accepted Andrey very well and got used to him almost at once. The best team partner was Kaka. It was them, who became the best tandem in the football world. Both of them had a bad command of foreign languages, but understood each other pretty well in the field. Soon they became good friends.

Andrey managed to win the Italian fans’ hearts. After a couple of matches, the crowds of fans asked him for his autograph.

Having played in Milan for seven years , having won with the team a great number of championships and even  Serie A, Shevchenko decided to leave the club and join Chelsey, its owner was Roman Abramovich. During the last game fans begged Andrey to stay in Milan , however, the decision was made – Shevchenko goes to the English club.

The transfer sum was about 30 million pounds. But in Chelsey he was unable to make full use of his potential and his career in this club was quite short – Andrey played for the English team only for two years and got injured several times during this period.

In 2008 Shevchenko returned to Milan, this fact was reported by the club representatives on their official site. Unfortunately, the return failed to become triumphal – many things changed for two years. Despite good results, Andrey left the club. Besides him, another couple of players left as well, who formed the team core, the head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, also quit , Chelsey waited for him, Andrey’s contract with this club was still valid. However, there wasn’t fruitful collaboration here – Ancelotti claimed that he didn’t want Shevchenko to participate in the Champions league as a player of Chelsey.

So Andrey came back to his native Dinamo – the contract was signed almost immediately. Everybody was glad to see him home , moreover, he was appointed  the captain of the team. But pretty soon a new coach Yuriy Semin decided to give the place of a captain of the team to Alexander Shovkovskiy.

The end of football career and his  next activities

Shevchenko declared that his football career came to an end in July 2012. Andrey Nikolaevich went to politics and even participated in the Supreme Council elections, but this idea wasn’t successful. However, there was no time to be upset – pretty soon he was invited to take the post of a head coach of the Ukrainian national team, he himself recently played for. Shevchenko , who has always estimated the situation soberly, accepted the offer but only after he got a coach license PRO (March 2015).

He debuted as a coach in 2016 and  started from the significant event – Euro 2016. This position occupied Andrey’s predecessor, an equally famous coach Mikhail Fomenko.  Under Shevchenko’s leadership Ukraine showed variable success. The first match ended in a draw (1:1 , Iceland), the second one was more impressive – 3:0, with Kosovo national team. The completion of selective matches wasn’t successful – the team of Shevchenko lost the crucial game to the national team of Croatia and appeared on the third place for the World championship 2018.

His private life

The apogee of Shevchenko’s popularity covers the Milan period. Everyone was curious about him – not only football fans, but also mass media and bogema. Visiting many parties every day, he got acquainted with wealthy and influential people. At one of these events he met his future wife – American supermodel Kristine Pazik. The couple got married on July 2004. At the moment they raise four sons and live a quiet life, being an example of the perfect family.

Interesting facts

Shevchenko is not only a professional football player, but also a golfer – he’s got a silver medal won in  the golf championship of Ukraine.  He deserved respect of many legendary football players including Pele, who added Andrey to the list FIFA – 100,  which tells about 125 best players.

The godfather of  Andrey’s elder son Giordan could have become Silvio Berlusconi. But the politician and the club owner at that moment was already divorced and it was unacceptable according to the canon of a catholic church. Shevchenko was six times recognized as the best football player of Ukraine.

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