End of the road for Shevchenko

Often regarded as the Prince of Ukrainian football, Andriy Shevchenko announced his retirement from international football yesterday evening.

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After struggling with a knee injury in recent days, the former Chelsea forward came on as a 70th minute substitute as Ukraine went down 1-0 to England in Donetsk last night, a result that saw them eliminated from Euro 2012.

Shevchenko, 35, has made 111 caps for Ukraine and told reporters yesterday that he planned to arrange a friendly match so that he could say ‘goodbye’ to his family, friends and supporters; such a game would be his 112th match.

Born in Dvirkivschyna, the Ukrainian number 7 scored 48 goals for his country, and the highlight of his international career was probably leading them to the Quarter Finals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where they lost to eventual winners Italy.

At club level there have been very few players that can match up to Shevcheko, he started his career at Dynamo Kiev and helped them to the Champions League Semi Finals in 1998/99 having defeated Real Madrid and Arsenal en route to the last four.

A £16.5million move to AC Milan followed, and it is here that the striker really came to the fore; a legend at the San Siro, Shevchenko scored 175 goals for Rossoneri, winning the Champions League, Serie A and the Italian Cup in the process.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea came calling in 2006 and the Ukrainian moved to Stamford Bridge for a fee of around £30million, although the move never really worked out for either party, it didn’t stop ‘Sheva’ adding FA Cup and League Cup medals to his collection.

Shevchenko then returned to AC Milan in 2008 before Kiev welcomed their icon back to Dynamo, his contract at the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex expires next year; a move to Major League Soccer is expected to follow.

A video compilation of the legendary striker can be watched below.