ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO


Andriy Mykolayovich Shevchenko (born 29 September 1976) is a Ukrainian footballer who plays for Dynamo Kyiv and the Ukraine national team as a striker. He is the third-highest scorer in the history of European club competition with 64 goals, behind Filippo Inzaghi and Raúl.

Shevchenko's career has been highlighted by many awards, the most prestigious of which were the Ballon d'Or in 2004 (becoming the third Ukrainian, after Oleg Blokhin and Igor Belanov to receive it) and the UEFA Champions League in 2003 with Milan. Along with this, he has won various league and cup titles in Ukraine, Italy, and England. Besides the Golden Ball, Shevchenko was awarded other individual awards.

In his illustrious international career, the striker led the Ukraine national football team as captain to the quarterfinals in their first ever FIFA World Cup appearance in 2006.

In 1999, Shevchenko joined Italian club A.C. Milan for a then-record transfer fee of $25 million. He made his Serie A debut on 28 August 1999 in a 2–2 draw with Lecce. He became the first foreign player to win the Serie A scoring title in his debut season, finishing with 24 goals in 32 matches. Shevchenko maintained his excellent form into 2000-01 season, scoring 24 goals in 34 matches. Andriy also managed to score 9 goals in 14 matches in the Champions League, however Milan failed to get past the second group stage.

Despite netting only five times in 24 matches, mainly due to injuries, Shevchenko became the first Ukrainian-born player to win the Champions League after Milan lifted their sixth trophy in 2002–03. He scored the winning penalty in the shoot out against arch-rivals Juventus in the final, which had ended goalless after extra time. He finished top goalscorer in Serie A (2003–04) for the second time in his career, scoring 24 goals in 32 matches as Milan won the Scudetto for the first time in four years. Shevchenko capped off the year by being named the 2004 European Player of the Year, becoming the third Ukrainian player ever to win the award after Oleg Blokhin and Igor Belanov. In the same year, Shevchenko was also inducted into the FIFA 100.

He scored seventeen goals in the 2004–05 season after missing several games with a fractured cheekbone. Shevchenko made Champions League history the following season; on 23 November 2005, he scored all four goals in Milan's 4–0 group-stage drubbing of Fenerbahçe, becoming only the fifth player to accomplish this feat (his company includes Marco van Basten, Simone Inzaghi, Dado Pršo and Ruud van Nistelrooy; Lionel Messi joined that group in the 2009–10 season as well). Milan eventually lost the tournament when Shevchenko missed the crucial penalty in the final against Liverpool. In the 2005-06 season, he scored his last Milan goal in the second leg of the quarterfinals as they eliminated Olympique Lyonnais after a last-minute comeback, but then fell to eventual winners Barcelona in the semifinals, a match where Shevchenko controversially had a last minute equalizer denied by the referee. Despite this, he still ended up being the top scorer of the whole competition with 9 goals in 12 games.

On 8 February 2006, he became Milan's second highest all-time goalscorer, behind Gunnar Nordahl, after netting against Treviso. He finished the season as joint 4th top scorer with 19 goals in 28 games. By now, Shevchenko was one of the most feared and prolific strikers in the whole of Europe.

During the summer of 2005, there were persistent reports that Chelsea F.C. owner Roman Abramovich offered a record sum of €75.2 million and striker Hernán Crespo to Milan in exchange for Shevchenko. Milan refused the monetary offer but took Crespo on loan. Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was quoted as saying, "I think Shevchenko is the type of player we would like. At the end of the day to improve what we have got, it has to be a great player and Shevchenko certainly comes into that class." Shevchenko cited that the persistence of Abramovich was a key factor in his move.

On 28 May 2006, Shevchenko left Milan for Chelsea for £30.8 million, topping Michael Essien's transfer fee from the previous year and also breaking the record for a player signed by an English club. He received the number seven shirt, as Chelsea coach José Mourinho said that Shevchenko could continue wearing it.

Shevchenko made his debut for Chelsea on 13 August 2006 in the FA Community Shield, scoring his side's goal in a 2–1 loss to Liverpool. On 23 August, he scored his first Premier League goal — and his 300th in top-flight and international football — in a 2–1 loss to Middlesbrough. He scored goals sporadically throughout the season, including equalisers against Porto and Valencia in the UEFA Champions League and another against Tottenham Hotspur to help take his side into the FA Cup semifinals. He finished with a total of 14 from 51 games. During the campaign he netted his 57th career goal in European competitions, leaving him second behind Gerd Müller on the all-time European goalscorers list, before Filippo Inzaghi made the record his own in the 2007–08 season. Shevchenko's 2006–07 season was cut short due to injury and a hernia operation. He missed the Champions League semi-finals against Liverpool and the FA Cup Final against Manchester United at the new Wembley Stadium on 19 May 2007. He did however start for Chelsea in the 2007 Football League Cup Final victory over Arsenal F.C. in which he hit the bar which would have given Chelsea a 3–1 lead.

Shevchenko was handed his first start of the season against Blackburn Rovers at home to cover for the injured Didier Drogba, but the game finished goalless. His first goal of the season came three days later in a match against Rosenborg which was Jose Mourinho's last game as manager of Chelsea. Throughout the season Shevchenko was in and out of the starting lineup because of injuries and the appointment of Avram Grant following the departure of José Mourinho. However, during the Christmas period Shevchenko enjoyed a good run of form, he scored the first goal in Chelsea's 2–0 win over Sunderland A.F.C. and he was named Man of the Match in Chelsea's 4–4 draw against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, scoring twice including a stunning 25 yard shot into the top left hand corner of Villa's goal, he also assisted Alex to make the score 3–2 in Chelsea's favour. Shevchenko scored his last goal in the 2007–08 season in the 1–1 draw with Bolton Wanderers F.C.. He finished the season with five league goals in 17 games. Shevchenko played a part in a pre season match which was against his former team A.C. Milan.

Shevchenko wasn't used very often in the starting lineup at Chelsea, and with the appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari he was deemed surplus to requirements. Due to this, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani offered to take Shevchenko back to the San Siro, Shevchenko was loaned back to his old club Milan for the 2008–09 season.

Shevchenko's second spell was unsuccessful, as he failed to score any league goals, and only scored two goals in 26 appearances, however Shevchenko only started nine games. At the end of the season, Milan confirmed that Shevchenko would be returning to Chelsea for the final year of his 4-year contract. At the end of that season it was also announced that Milan's manager, Carlo Ancelotti, would also be leaving to join Chelsea.

After making a late appearance for Chelsea in their second game of the 2009–10 season, Ancelotti announced that Shevchenko would be likely to leave Chelsea before the summer transfer window closed. Despite this, Ancelotti said it had nothing to do with his decision to leave Shevchenko out of Chelsea's 2009–10 Champions League squad, but just to continue playing first-team football.
-Shevchenko is married to American model Kristen Pazik. The couple met at a Giorgio Armani afterparty in 2002, and married on 14 July 2004 in a private ceremony on a golf course in Washington, DC. They communicate with each other in Italian, though Shevchenko had previously made public his desire to learn English. After his return to Dynamo Kyiv in August 2009 the couple declared that they want their children to learn Ukrainian.

The couple have two sons: Jordan, born on 29 October 2004, and Christian, born on 10 November 2006. Shevchenko commemorated Jordan's birth by scoring against Sampdoria the following day (Milan won 1–0). Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi is the Godfather of Shevchenko's first son, Jordan. The day after Christian's birth, Shevchenko scored in a 4–0 Chelsea victory over Watford, and he and several of his teammates gathered and performed the popular "rock-the-baby" goal celebration as a tribute.

Shevchenko is a close friend of fashion designer Giorgio Armani, and has modelled for Armani and opened two boutiques with him in Kyiv. In June 2005, he became an ambassador for the SOS Children's Villages charity.

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