Tag Archives: Andriy Shevchenko

Premier League’s Top Five Biggest Spenders In The Last 10 Years

torres-chelsea-signs

The 2013 transfer window will be something special not only because of all the potentially exciting deals that can happen but also it marks the 10th anniversary of the transfer window.

In 2003 the rules were changed to ensure that all transfer were carried out either in the summer or in January alone, leaving the rest of the season free of speculation and allowing everyone to focus on the football. So, since it’s introduction in 2002/03 right up to the summer window just gone over £4.4 billion has been spent – but who has splashed the most cash and who has pulled off the worst deal?

Luckily, thanks to TransferMarkt and GiveMeFootball, we have a list of the top 5 biggest spenders over the last decade. Have a look at it below..

1. Chelsea

Total spend: £861,498,000
Biggest spend: £151,536,000 (2003/04)
Most expensive deal: Fernando Torres, £50 million (2011)
Best deal: Didier Drogba, £24 million (2004/05)
Worst deal: Andriy Shevchenko, £30 million (2006/07)
Average season spend: £78,318,000

2. Manchester City

Total spend: £662,521,200
Biggest spend: £160,556,000 (2010/11)
Most expensive deal: Sergio Aguero, £39.5 million (2011/12)
Best deal: Sergio Aguero, £39.5 million (2011/12)
Worst deal: Robinho, £32.5 million (2008/09)
Average season spend: £60,229,200

3. Liverpool

Total spend: £533,683,040
Biggest spend: £85,822,000 (2010/11)
Most expensive deal: Andy Carroll, £35 million (2010/11)
Best deal: Fernando Torres, £20 million (2007/08)
Worst deal: Andy Carroll, £35 million (2010/11)
Average season spend: £48,516,640

4. Tottenham Hotspur

Total spend: £496,663,200
Biggest spend: £125,400,000 (2008/09)
Most expensive deal: Luka Modric, £16.75 million (2008/09)
Best deal: Rafael van der Vaart, £8 million (2010/11)
Worst deal: David Bentley, £16.5 million (2008/09)
Average season spend: £45,151,200

5. Manchester United

Total spend: £484,884,400
Biggest spend: £91,080,000 (2007/08)
Most expensive deal: Dimitar Berbatov, £30.75 million (2008/09)
Best deal:  Cristiano Ronaldo, £12 million (2003/2004)
Worst deal: Owen Hargreaves, £17 million (2007/08)
Average season spend: £44,080,400

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England 1-0 Ukraine – Player Ratings

Wayne Rooney made his return to the England squad in style, scoring the winning goal for the Three Lions in a 1-0 victory over co-hosts Ukraine.  Here, we take a look at how the players fared at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk on Tuesday night.

ENGLAND

Joe Hart – 7
Hart was rarely tested during the whole game as his defenders in front of him did their job well, which restricted the co-hosts to shoot from distance and most of their shots were way off target. Hart did have to be alert to make a fantastic one-handed save from a swerving Konoplyanka effort and managed to get a hand on Devic’s goal-bound shot, which gave Terry enough time to make a goal-line clearance.

Glen Johnson – 6
The Liverpool full back is often criticized for being poor defensively and he nothing in the game to change that. Konoplyanka ha d a very fun time of the right of the England defence against Johnson and cut inside him too easily, which allowed the Ukrainian winger to swing in several dangerous crosses and fire off a few shots from range. As an attacking threat, Johnson was muted and was unable to create sort of impact on the game.

John Terry – 7.5
Terry was the rock at the heart at the England defence. He played crucial part in maintaining a clean sheet for his side with a fantastic goal line clearance to deny Devic. He was on hand to make several vital interceptions and was literally unbeatable in the air.

Joleon Lescott – 7
Like Terry, Lescott was literally unbeatable in the air and headed away many Ukraine crosses in his own box. He is developing a decent partnership with Terry in the heart of the England but at times he was beaten for pace and looked slightly slow on the ground. His real test of ability will come against more tougher oppositions in the knockout stages of the competition.

Ashley Cole – 6.5
The Chelsea defender was troubled by Ukraine’s wing play and was battling Yarmolenko throughout the game. Although Cole managed to win some battles, he allowed his direct opponent too much time and space to cut in and shoot on several occasions. The left-back did manage to get forward on few occasion and almost scored his first ever England goal with a half-volley which was well saved by Pyatov.

James Milner (Sub Off 70′) – 6
Milner is only in the side because of his high workrate and because he provides  defensive cover for the suspect Johnson. Going forward Milner is never going be a threat like Ashley Young or Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, so its like asking too much from him to be a creative outlet for England. Nonetheless, Miner did his duties very well and helped Johnson a lot, but he was unable to offer much going forward.

Scott Parker – 7.5
Parker was one of the best England players on the field. He was brave and strong in challenge and literally put his whole body on the line to stop Ukraine. He earned raucous cheers for blocking a cross with his face in the closing stages. He may not be the most technically gifted player in the England squad but gives his everything when playing for his country.

Steven Gerrard – 8
The England captain was once again influential in guiding his country to victory. He led his side from the front and was at times seen shouting instructions to his players which kept them disciplined and organised. He was also dangerous when he got forward and one of his forward forays eventually led to England’s goal, after he burst past Selin on the right and drilled a cross for Rooney to head in.

Ashley Young – 7
Like the previous game, Young start on the left but this time he was more effective and a threat for the Ukrainian defence. He often used his pace well to beat Gusev before sending in quality crosses for his forwards. His crosses were of top quality with the right amount of dip, swerve and power which made them a nightmare to deal with. He was unfortunate not to get an assist to his name.

Wayne Rooney (Sub Off 87′) – 7 
Most of the pre-match focus was on the return of Wayne Rooney to the England starting XI and what kind of impact he would have. The United forward answered that question by scoring winner. He rusty at times and missed a glorious chance from 6 yards in the first half but he was a constant threat upfront for the Ukrainian defence.

Danny Welbeck (Sub Off 82′)- 6.5
Welbeck was selected ahead of Carroll to start this game because his understanding with his United teammates Rooney and Young. The young striker was unable to make much of a telling contribution in the game, although his hold-up play was good and his understanding with Rooney looked promising.

Subs

Theo Walcott (Sub On 70′) – 3
Came on as a substitute in the second half for Milner and with 20 minutes to play against the tired Ukrainian defence, Walcott had no impact on the game at all. He failed to create any sort of impact and hardly touched the ball.

Andy Carroll (Sub On 82′) – N/A

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Sub On 87′) – N/A

UKRAINE

Andriy Paytov – 4
It was a night to forget for the Ukrainian keeper as his horrendous mistake led to Rooney scoring the winner. He looked very nervy in the first half but improved after conceding the goal in the second half and made a couple of smart saves to deny England scoring more goals.

Oleg Gusev – 7
Gusev put in a tireless shift down the right side for the co-hosts and managed do very well combining his defensive duty of marking his pacey opponent in Ashley Young and at the same time providing an attacking outlet for his side down the right.

Yevhen Khacheridi – 7
Khacheridi had the huge task of dealing with Wayne Rooney and managed to put in a respectable performance for his side. Although he was often outmuscled by Rooney, he still managed to keep the talismanic striker at bay for majority of the game with his tight marking.

Yaroslav Rakitskiy – 7
Rakitskiy was a stable presence at the back for Ukraine and his brilliant tackles kept the English forwards on their toes. The 22-year-old defender showed great maturity and character in leading his backline and was also an attacking threat from set-pieces.

Yevhen Selin – 6
Selin was a constant presence on the left and troubled Johnson for most of the game with his attacking runs. He was given a lot of space by the Liverpool defender and happily used it to create several good opportunities for his strikers. However, he was responsible for England’s winner as he allowed Gerrard to go easily past him in the build-up.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk – 6.5
The Ukraine captain managed to break up a few of England’s counter-attacks with his excellent reading of the game and made a few well-timed challenges. He was guilty of occasionally wasting possession with a few misplaced passes but otherwise had a decent game for his side.

Denys Garmash (Sub Off 78′) – 5
Garmash was the worst player on the night. His final ball in threatening situations was poor which resulted in gifting possession to England during promising Ukrainian attacks. He did not seem to have the hunger to win the game and let down his teammates with his lack of effort.

Andriy Yarmolenko – 7
The 22-year-old Ukrainian proved a tricky customer for the English defence and often had Lescott and Terry on the back foot with his pace and quick foot work. But at times he made the wrong choice by having a go at goal from long range when a simple pass to his teammate would have been a better choice.

Marko Devic (Sub Off 70′) – 7
Devic was very nearly the hero for Ukraine with his effort which was cleared off the line by Terry. However, replays showed that the ball had crossed the line and England were lucky to lead. He made some smart off-the-ball moves and gave Terry and Lescott something to worry about throughout whole the game.

Yevhen Konoplyanka – 8
Konoplyanka was Ukraine’s best player of the game. His direct running caused Johnson problems throughout the game and not only managed to create numerous decent goal-scoring opportunities for his team, but also hollowed out a few chances for himself with his quick feet. He came very close to scoring with a superb dipping and swerving long range shot which forced a brilliant reaction save from Hart.

Artem Milevskiy (Sub Off 77′) – 7
Milevskiv offered a very physical presence upfront and held the ball up well for his team. His unselfish play also led to him creating several opportunities for his team but was unable to really threaten the England goal himself.

Subs

Andriy Shevchenko (Sub On 70′) – 6
Probably made his last appearance for his country but was unable to go out with a bang. He recieved a huge reception from not only the home fans but also the England supporters when he came on in the second half. He was not able to create a much of an impact and didnt get many chances to score as Ukraine’s midfield tired out towards the end of the game.

Bohdan Butko (Sub on 77′) – N/A

Serhiy Nazarenko (Sub On 78′) – N/A

England v Ukraine Preview

England – with the returning Wayne Rooney – take on the desperate co-hosts Ukraine the Donbass Arena in Donetsk today, knowing that a point is enough be enough to take them through to the last eight of the tournament.

Three Lions head coach Roy Hodgson will definitely pick talismanic striker Wayne Rooneyand he is facing the classic dilemma of who to drop to make way for him. Rooney will return to the team on Tuesday after completing his two-match suspension following his red card against Montenegro in Podgorica eight months ago. Either his Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck or Liverpool striker Andy Carroll will lose his place in the starting line-up. Carroll scored with a header and Welbeck cleverly flicked home the winner when England beat Sweden 3-2 on Friday which put them in sight of the last eight. “They have given me the classic manager’s headache but it’s the headache we all want really, because they are players are in-form and competing for a place,” said the former West Brom and Liverpool boss.

Oleh Blokhin’s side, on the other hand, need to win to make it past the group stage, so tensions will be high in what is sure to be an electrifying atmosphere. During the pre-match press conference, Blokhin said the pressure was on Ukraine’s opponents given their higher status in the game and greater expectations. “They are one of the favourites, so the pressure is on them,” he said. “We have a more relaxed approach, we have nothing to lose, even if we don’t get a great result, if we show fight on the pitch till last minute that will be no disgrace,” he said.

TEAM NEWS

England

With Wayne Rooney returning from his suspension, Hodgson has a clean bill of health in his squad with Theo Walcott available after a hamstring niggle. And the 64-year-old is content that expectation levels are rising in England after the opening two games which have garnered four points, but he can give no guarantee of success.

Ukraine

Meanwhile, Ukraine are sweating over the fitness of team captain Andriy Shevchenko who is rated as a “50-50 chance” of recovering from a knee injury in time for the decisive Group D clash. Shevchenko completed a squad training session on Monday, having sat out training the previous day because of a swollen left knee. But he remains an injury doubt and Blokhin says he will only decide whether or not to play the striker shortly before the match.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Played – 4
England Wins – 3
Draws – 0
Ukraine Wins – 1

FORM GUIDE

England – WDWWL
15-Jun-12 – Euro 2012 – Sweden 2-3 England
11-Jun-12 – Euro 2012 – France 1-1 England
02-Jun-12 – Friendly – England 1-0 Belgium
27-May-12 – Friendly – Norway 0-1 England
01-Mar-12 – Friendly – England 2-3 Netherlands

Ukraine – LWLLW
15-Jun-12 – Euro 2012 – Ukraine 0-2 France
11-Jun-12 – Euro 2012 – Ukraine 2-1 Sweden
05-Jun-12 – Friendly – Turkey 2-0 Ukraine
01-Jun-12 – Friendly – Austria 3-2 Ukraine
28-May-12 – Friendly – Ukraine 4-0 Estonia

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wayne Rooney (England)
The tournament finally starts for Wayne Rooney, as he is back and eager to play after serving a two match suspension. England have managed very well without him in the first two matches, but the Manchester United star is by far Three Lions’ most talented player in the squad. The 26-year-old, who has 35 goals for Manchester United this season, broke onto the scene in UEFA EURO 2004 scoring four goals, but his participation was cut short with an injury as England were dumped out by Portugal on penalties. And, with England failing to qualify for the UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria/Switzerland, Rooney has some unfinished business in the tournament. He will play in the role behind the striker, and will be the key link between the midfielders and the forward.

Ashley Young (England)
Young was tipped to fill in Wayne Rooney’s boot for the first two matches, when the striker was suspended for picking up a straight red card in the final qualifier against Montenegro, but the Manchester United winger failed to do. With his United colleague coming back from suspension, the pressure will be released from Young’s shoulder and that will probably make him play his natural game. The former Watford and Aston Villa man averages a goal and an assist every three game for England and his form will be key to their  further success in the tournament.

Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine)
Ukraine’s progidigal son has the backing and support of the whole nation and he answered their rallying cry against Sweden in the opening game scoring twice and helping the co-hosts register a historical win. The AC Milan legend has 50-50 chance of playing in this game due to injury but the striker would be very eager to play as this could be his final game for his country. The poacher is not getting any young and many may say his is past his days but he still has the knack of scoring some important goals and that’s what his country needs as they stand on brink of elimination.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Ukraine)
Andriy Shevchenko may be the most important player to his country, but Tymoshchuk is not less important. The Bayern Munich midfielder who has 118 international caps to his name will be an key figure in the center of midfield as he will be the man looking to stop both Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard from creating chances. If the former Zenit St Petersburg man can do his job of nullifying the threats of the England duo, then Ukraine might have a chance of getting something out of this game or even may be upsetting the Three Lions.

PROBABLE LINEUPS

England (4-2-3-1): Joe Hart; Glen Johnson, John Terry, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole; Scott Parker, Steven Gerrard (C); Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young; Danny Welbeck.

Wayne Rooney will return to the starting XI after sitting out of the first two matches due to suspension. He will take Andy Carroll’s place in the lineup and play just behind his Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck. Theo Walcott, whose match-winning cameo helped England knock Sweden out of the competition, has recovered from a slight injury and could start on the right wing with James Milner dropping to the bench. Ashley Young has been very unimpressive so far but will start on the left wing, with Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard in the center of the midfield. The back four will remain the same as Glen Johnson, John Terry, Joleon Lescott and Ashley Cole will form the quartet ahead of Joe Hart’s goal.

Ukraine (4-2-3-1): Andriy Pyatov; Oleg Gusev, Yevhen Khacheridi, Taras Mikhalik, Yevhen Selin; Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Serhiy Nazarenko; Andriy Yarmolenko, Andriy Voronin, Yevhen Konoplyanka; Andriy Shevchenko (C).

Andriy Shevchenko is a major doubt for this match with a knee injury but will be given all chance of proving his fitness and will mostly start keeping in mind this is a must win game for Ukraine and this could also be his last ever game for his country. If Shevchenko fails the late fitness test then Oleg Blokhin is likely to turn to Artem Milevskiy or Marko Devic to play as the lead striker ahead of Andriy Voronin. Blokhin has played the same defence and midfield in both games so far and no changes are expected, with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Serhiy Nazarenko shielding the back four, with the young Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko playing on the wings.

MATCH ODDS

England 1/1 Draw 12/5 Ukraine 11/4

PREDICTION

With Wayne Rooney returning, England are huge favourites to win the game but playing for a draw could be very dangerous. Wayne Rooney will start and will be key man, as he has the ability to greatly influence the game playing in the whole behind the striker. The onus will be on the co-hosts Ukraine, as they must win this and get all three points to qualify for the last eight or else they are out. A early goal for Oleh Blokhin’s side may cause some tensions in the English camp, but with the solid organise defence England have got, can’t see that happening. England will dominate the game from start to end, with Rooney making his presence felt.

Predicted Score – England 2-0 Ukraine

Predicting Ukraine v France And Sweden v England

Yesterday, we saw the first team to be knocked out of the tournament in form of Republic of Ireland, as they were beaten quite comfortably by the defending champions Spain in Gdansk. The first game of yesterday saw Croatia denying Italy and earning a point against them. 

Today is time for Group D as England, France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine are in action. The first match sees Ukraine take on France in Donetsk, followed by a must win encounter between Sweden and England in Kiev. Here are the predictions for the two entertaining matches.

Date – 15th June, 19:00 GMT

Stadium – Donbass Arena, Donetsk

Prediction – Ukraine stunned Sweden in their previous game as they registered a comeback win thanks to two Andriy Shevchenko headers, while France were frustrated and held on to a draw by a very defensive England team. Ukraine are on top of Group D and a positive result today will take them a step closer towards qualifications. On the other hand, France need to win to make sure they are in pole position as they head into their final group game against Sweden. France are the overwhelming favourites to win this game and they will play like wise. Les Bleus will completely dominate the possession and will create many chances. Karim Benzema, who has been inform for both club and country this season, will score the opener. Samir Nasri will double the lead just before half time. Ukraine will show their character as they did against Sweden in the second half and Andriy Shevchenko will get one back for the co-hosts from a set-piece. The 2006 FIFA World Cup finalist will continue to dominate the game and create many more chances. With just 20 minutes remaining, Karim Benzema will score his second of the game and end Ukraine’s hope of getting anything from the game. A truly deserved win for Les Bleus which will take them on top of Group D.

Predicted Final Score – Ukraine 1-3 France (Shevchenko ; Benzema, Nasri, Benzema)

Date – 15th June, 21:45 GMT

Stadium – Olympic Stadium, Kiev

Prediction – This is a crucial game for both the teams. England must win or else they face the a difficult task of winning their last game against Ukraine and hoping for results going their way. If Sweden lose this one then they are out of the tournament, having lost their first game against Ukraine. England were defensive against France but today they will look to play some attacking football. It won’t be easy, though, against the Swedes who have a very good record against the Three Lions in competitive matches. Steven Gerrard will be the key for the Three Lions and his role will determine if England will dominate the game or not. Sweden will dominate the game early on and will score during that period. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will give them the lead which they will hold on till half time. After the break, England will dominate and most importantly Steven Gerrard will be in the heart of everything good England create. Danny Welbeck will soon equalise with a clean finish. The Three Lions will dominate more after the goal and skipper Steven Gerrard will hit a stunning winner to knock Sweden out of the competition. A win for the Three Lions means a draw against Ukraine in their next game will be enough for them to go through.

Predicted Final Score – Sweden 1-2 England (Ibrahimovic ; Welbeck, Gerrard)

Predicting France v England And Ukraine v Sweden

Yesterday we got our both predictions right. We predicted a 1-1 draw between Spain and Italy in the first Group C match and a win for Croatia in the second match against Republic of Ireland in Poznan. Today, its time for the Group D matches, which will see the likes of England, France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine in action.

The Group D of the tournament sees the clash of the under-performers as England take on group favourites France in the first match at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk and later in the night co-hosts Ukraine face a tough opposition in Sweden at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

Date – 11th June, 19:00 GMT

Stadium – Donbass Arena, Donetsk

Prediction – The wait for the English fans is over as the Three Lions face France in the Group D opener. This is the big match of the group. The winner of this match will surely win the group and face the 2nd best team from Group C in the quarter-finals. With Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two games, England would surely look avoid defeat in this game and try and win the remaining two. But the problem is they face an inform France side who are on a 21-match unbeaten run. France have plenty of firepower in their squad but at the same time the English defence is well organised and disciplined. The game is expected to be an cagey affair as the Germany-Portugal game. France will dominate post of the game and will put pressure on the English defence, but the Three Lions will happily soak up the pressure and hit Les Bleus on the break. Ashley Young will score opener from one such break of play just before half time. France will attack more after interval and will get their reward. Karim Benzema will equalise just after the hour mark after some good work by Samir Nasri and Franck Ribery. France will continue to attack but English defence will stay organised and discipline till end with Joe Hart making a couple of important saves towards the end. The game will end in a draw. A result that will satisfy the English players.

Predicted Final Score – France 1-1 England (Benzema ; Young)

Date – 11th June, 21:45 GMT

Stadium – Olympic Stadium, Kiev

Prediction – If England v France is the big game of Group D, then this is a bigger game for both the teams playing. Its like a must win game as they face England and France up next. Ukraine will have the home support behind them as they make their European Championship debut but Sweden have the experience of playing in the major tournaments. With both teams going for the win, as a win could set up either side perfectly for the next two matches, expect this game to be an end-to-end affair with both the teams attacking. The Swedish skipper Zlatan Ibrahimovic will give the Swedes the lead from a thumping header in the first half. After the goal, Sweden will dominate the game and threaten to score the second goal. It will be the same order of play in the second half but with no success. The frustration of not being able to score the second goal with get in the Swede’s heads and the co-hosts will grab the opportunity with both hands and score their equaliser through Andriy Shevchenko with less than ten minutes remaining on watch. Ukraine will defend and see of the game. The Swedes will feel like two points lost after dominating most of the game, while the co-hosts will be happy with point earned.

Predicted Final Score – Ukraine 1-1 Sweden (Shevchenko ; Ibrahimovic)

UEFA EURO 2012 Team Preview – Ukraine

Population 48.4 million Area 603,628km2 Capital Kiev Currency Hryvnia Official Language Ukrainian

FOOTBALL FACTFILE

Football Asocciation HФедерація Футболу України (FFU) Official Site http://www.ffu.org.ua Year of formation 1991 Euro Ranking 30 World Ranking 52 National Stadium Olimpiysky Stadium, Kiev Well-known club sides Dynamo Kiev, Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Metalist Kharkiv Leading goalscorers Andriy Shevchenko (46+), Serhiy Rebrov (15), Serhiy Nazarenko (12) Most capped players Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (112+), Andriy Shevchenko (108+), Oleksandr Shovkovskiy (90+) European Championship finals attended N/A Best European Championship performance First appearance Playing Record in European Championship P42 W16 D13 L13 Odds of winning UEFA EURO 2012 40/1

JOURNEY TO POLAND/UKRAINE

Qualifying automatically as one of the host nations, Ukraine’s footballing history is one of the shortest there is.

The country was only officially recognised as an independent footballing nation in 1991, before this date it had been an abundant resource for the Soviet Union, which won the inaugural tournament in 1960 and finished as runners-up in 1964, 1977 and 1988.

Even with their new-found independence, Ukrainian Football Federation failed to secure recognition in time to compete in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and, as a result, some of their brightest talent chose to play for Russia in these early years.

Starting in late 1994 as, essentially, international novices, the country produced some auspicious talent, the pick of which was celebrated Dynamo Kiev strikeforce of Andriy Shevchenko and Serhiy Rebrov, a pairing that did more than its fair share to put Ukraine on the football map.

It remained an uphill battle, but, after several unsuccessful qualifying campaigns, the 2006 FIFA World Cup finally saw Ukraine perform on the largest international stage of all.

Led by their current manager, Oleg Blokhin, they surpassed all expectations, making it to the last eight of the tournament before defeat at the hands of eventual winners, Italy.

Turning to this summer’s tournament, the Ukrainians, unsurprisingly, find themsevles the underdogs in a tricky Group D and will do incredibly well to qualify for the last 8. Though they are a long shot, if football-tournament history has taught us anything it is that partisan crowds and host-nation stats can give you a real boost.

The cauldron-like atmospheres of Kiev and Donetsk will surely work in Ukraine’s favour and, coupled with a bit of lick and the mettle they displayed in 2006. Blokhin’s outfit could well deliver a few surprises. England, be warned.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

Qualified as hosts.

HOME AND AWAY KITS

 

GROUP FIXTURES – GROUP D

Sunday, 11/06 – Ukraine v Sweden (Kiev, 19:45)
Friday, 15/06 – Ukraine v France (Donetsk, 17:00)
Tuesday, 19/06 – England v Ukraine (Donetsk, 19:45)

FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Oleksandr Goryainov (FC Metalist Kharkiv), Maxym Koval (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Andriy Pyatov (FC Shakhtar Donetsk).

Defenders: Bohdan Butko (FC Illychivets Mariupil), Olexandr Kucher (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Taras Mikhalik (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Yaroslav Rakitskiy (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Yevhen Selin (FC Vorskla Poltava), Yevhen Khacheridi (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Vyacheslav Shevchuk (FC Shakhtar Donetsk).

Midfielders: Olexandr Aliyev (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Denys Garmash (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Oleh Gusev (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Yevhen Konoplyanka (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Serhiy Nazarenko (SC Tavriya Simferopol), Ruslan Rotan (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (FC Bayern München), Andriy Yarmolenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv).

Forwards: Andriy Voronin (FC Dinamo Moskva), Marko Dević (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Artem Milevskiy (FC Dynamo Kyiv), Yevhen Seleznyov (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Andriy Shevchenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv).

THE CAPTAIN – ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO

Possibly an even greater Ukrainian export that the chicken Kiev, Andriy Shevchenko is considered the greatest player in his nation’s footballing history. The 35-year-old has netted 46 times in 105 international games and is determined to go out with a bang. A former Ballon d’Or winner, if Ukraine is to progress beyond the groups they will need ‘Sheva’ to lead the charge.

THE KEEPER – ANDRIY PYATOV

Part of the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, Pyatov replaced veteran keeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy for Ukraine’s 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Though the side didn’t make it to South Africa, Pyatov has been a firm fixture in the Ukrainian goal since. Currently safeguarding the Shakhtar Donetsk net, Pyatov’s experience against European elite will be invaluable.

STAR MAN – ANDRIY YARMOLENKO

Should the Ukrainians’ nightmare of losing Andriy Shevchenko to injury be realised, they will be relying on young Andriy Yarmolenko to pose their potent attacking threat. The 22-year-old scored on his full international debut against Andorra and his dominant physique and clinical finishing ability has resulted in him being dubbed ‘the new Sheva’ by a handful of journalists. Has bagged a few goals for the first XI, underlined his credentials with a tidy finish in a recent friendly with Germany and will be looking to build on his reputation this summer.

THE MANAGER – OLEG BLOKHIN

Despite scepticism surrounding his appointment in 2003, Oleg Blokhin led Ukraine to their hugely impressive World Cup quarter-final finish in 2006/ He left a year later, after failing to qualify for UEFA EURO 2008, but in April last year he took the helm once more. Not short on confidence he recently said: ‘Our job is to win the Euros, but we should remember there are at least 10 other very strong contenders.’ Blokhin has served two terms in the Ukrainian parliament and was the first Ukrainian to win the Ballon d’Or, in 1975.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTION

Group Stage – Ukraine are in a very tricky Group D and it will be a very tough task if they are to finish anywhere but bottom. Having the home support behind them and the experience of Shevchenko and Tymoshchuk and the potential of Yarmolenko might be their only chance of making it through to the quarters. The hosts will be hoping that the France will put in a similar performance as they did in the UEFA EURO 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup and will also hope that England would struggle to cope up with their recent injuries and suspended Wayne Rooney. Ukraine have a tendency to concede high number of goals and its very unlikely their attack will strong enough to balance it out.

A Complete Guide To UEFA EURO 2012

It doesn’t seem possible that almost four years have passed since Iker Casillas and Spain lifted the Henri Delaunay Cup in Vienna. But with the qualifying campagin completed, the draw for the finals made and most of squad being announced, the countdown to UEFA EURO 2012 has begun.

Since its inception in 2960, the UEFA European Championship has gone from strength to strength with every tournament. Only four nations competed at the first finals in France, but in 2016 the number of participating teams will have expanded to 24. UEFA EURO 2012, though, will have the same format we have become used to since Euro 96 with 16 nations fighting it out for the trophy.

UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria & Switzerland was a resounding success. Spain were worthy champions and the brand of football they played gave fans across the world great pleasure. It was also the second time the tournamnet had been successfully staged across two joint host countries, and Poland and Ukraine will provide another exciting dimension as the finals head east. Millions of football fans will be present in Poland and Ukraine this summer to watch the action unfold, and soak up the unique atmosphere. Billions more will be glued to television sets, cheering their countried on from homes, offices, and pubs throught Europe and the world.

With just 10 days remaining for the first match to kickoff in Warsaw, the anticipation for the finals is getting bigger and bigger day by day. Here we provide you with a complete guide to get you in the mood for the finals. I hope you enjoy the tournament and the complete guide.

Overview

The final tournament of the 14th UEFA European Football Championship will be held in Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July 2012. It will be the third time that the final tournament is jointly hosted by two countries (after Belgium/Netherlands in 2000 and Austria/Switzerland in 2008).

Sixteen national teams will compete in a total of 31 matches to be crowned European champions. The format of four groups of four teams will be used for the last time in this tournament. The competition format will change for the next edition in 2016 as the lineup of participants competing in the final tournament will be increased to 24.

The UEFA EURO 2012 matches will be played in eight stadiums, four in Poland – Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw – and four in Ukraine – Donetsk, Lviv, Kharkiv and Kyiv. The opening match will take place in Warsaw on 8 June and the final on 1 July in Kyiv. No fewer than 1.4 million fans will be expected at the stadiums and the matches will be broadcast live in more than 200 territories around the world.

MATCH SCHEDULE

VENUES & STADIUMS

Eight cities have been selected by UEFA as host venues. In a return to the format used at Euro 1992, Euro 1996 and Euro 2008, each of the four groups will be based around two stadiums each. The host cities Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Poznan, Kiev, Lviv are all popular tourist destinations, unlike Donetsk and Kharkiv (the latter having replaced Dnipropetrovsk as a host city in 2009). The obligatory improvement of the football infrastructure includes the building of new stadiums: Six of the eight venues are brand new stadiums just built for the tournament, while the remaining two (in Poznan and Kharkiv) have undergone major renovations to improve them. Three of the stadiums will fulfill the criteria of UEFA’s highest category stadiums.

POLAND

National Stadium, Warsaw
Capacity 50,000
Club to be confirmed

Built on the site of the old Tenth Anniversary Stadium on the eastern bank of the Vistula, the facade of the new National Stadium Warsaw resembles a waving Polish flag. It will host the opening match of UEFA EURO 2012 on 8 June and is expected to become the new home of the Poland national team.

Games Poland v Greece (8/6), Poland v Russia (12/6), Greece v Russia (16/6), 1 x QF (21/6), 1 x SF (28/6).

Municipal Stadium, Wroclaw
Capacity 40,000
Club WKS Slask Wroclaw

Designed in the shape of a Chinese lantern, the newly built Municipal Stadium Wroclaw was official openined with a Geroge Michael concert on 17 September 2011. Two months later Italy’s Mario Balotelli scored the first international goal at the new ground in the 2-0 win against Poland.

Games Russia v Czech Republic (8/6), Greece v Czech Republic (12/6), Czech Republic (16/6)

Municipal Stadium, Poznan
Capacity 40,000
Club KKS Lech Poznan

Renowned for its excellent atmosphere, the original stadium was inagurated in 1980 and has undergone major renovation work to bring it up to standard for UEFA EURO 2012. The new Municipal Stadium Poznan opened its door for the first for a Sting concert on 20 September 2010.

Games Republic of Ireland v Croatia (10/6), Italy v Croatia (14/6), Italy v Republic Ireland (18/6)

PGE Arena, Gdansk
Capacity 40,000
Club KKS Lech Poznan

Located in Gdnask’s Letnica neighbourhood, construction of the PGE Arena began in 2008 and was completed in 2011. The exterior is designed to resemble amber, which has long been extracted along the Baltic coast. Poland’s 2-2 draw with Germany on 6 September 2011 was the first ever match played in the new stadium. The stadium will host three group C games and one quarter final.

Games Spain v Italy (10/6), Spain v Republic of Ireland (14/6), Croatia v Spain (18/6), 1 x QF (22/6)

UKRAINE

Olympic Stadium, Kyiv
Capacity 60,000
Club Ukrainian national team

With a 60,000 capacity and a striking new transparent roof, the new-look Olympic Stadium is UEFA EURO 2012’s largest venue and will host the final on 1 July. Ukraine’s first match at the renovated groud was a thrilling 3-3 draw against Germany on 11 November 2011.

Games Ukraine v Sweden (11/6), Sweden v England (15/6), Sweden v France (19/6), 1 x QF (24/6), Final (1/7)

Donbass Arena, Donetsk
Capacity 50,000
Club FC Shakhtar Donetsk

The Donbass Arena was opened in August 2009 and boasts UEFA elite status, qualifying it to the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League finals. Home to UEFA Champions League regulars FC Shakhtar Donetsk, it will stage five matches during UEFA EURO 2012, including a semi-final.

Games France v England (11/6), Ukraine v France (15/6), England v Ukraine (19/6), 1 x OF (23/6), 1 x SF (27/6)

Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv
Capacity 35,000
Club FC Metalist Kharkiv

First build in 1926, the stadium has undergone several facelifts down the years, none more striking that its current guise. Known locally as the Spider Arene because of its roof supports resemble an arachnid’s legs, it was first known as the Traktor Stadium, named after a local tractor production plant.

Games Holland v Denmark (9/6), Holland v Germany (13/6), Portugal v Holland (17/6)

Arena Lviv, Lviv
Capacity 30,000
Club to be confirmed

Constructed specifically for the finals, this two-tired stadium offers fans perfect slightlines, while a walkway at the back of the lower tier provides a sense of space. The Arena Lviv, which opened on 29 October 2011, will host three Group B matches.

Games Germany v Portugal (9/6), Denmark v Portugal (13/6), Denmark v Germany (17/6)

LOGO & SLOGAN

The purpose of the logo and slogan is to give UEFA EURO 2012 its own personality, to help promote the tournament and to enhance the prestige of one of the world’s biggest sporting events by providing an easily recognisable identity, while at the same time bringing in a distinctive flavour of the host countries. The official logo and slogan for UEFA EURO 2012 were launched at a special event in Kyiv’s Mykhailivska Square on 14 December 2009.

The logo
The logo takes its visual lead from wycinanka art, a traditional form of paper cutting practised in rural areas of Poland and Ukraine. The wycinanka art form symbolises the fauna and flora of the local regions in a tribute to mother nature, representing the worship of the land and true respect for continuous growth, prosperity and fertility.

The slogan – Creating History Together
UEFA EURO 2012 is the next chapter in a story that started back in 1960 with the first edition of the UEFA European Football Championship. The staging of the final tournament in Poland and Ukraine, the first in central and eastern Europe, will definitely have a prominent place in history books.

Everyone involved in UEFA EURO 2012 including organisers, host countries, host cities, players, travelling supporters and fans at home are all contributing to another chapter of European and football history.

MASCOT

Following the footsteps of Trix and Flix at UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, Slavek and Slavko are dterminded to prove once more that two are better than one. A mascot introduced for the first time in a UEFA European Championship in 1980 when Pinocchio took to the pitch for Italy and they have been mainstay ever since. Slavek and Slavko have alreadt made their mark with nearly 40,000 people voting in a poll to choose their names. UEFA EURO 2012 ambassador Zbigniew Boniek believes Slavek, wearing the white of Poland in a No20 shirt, could be something of a luck charm for his nation. “This number was good for the national team, it brought me a lot of luck,” he said. “As No20 I scored three famours goals against Belgium at the 1982 World Cup while Grzegorz Lato had this number too.” His Ukrainian counterpart Andriy Shevchenko added: “I have seen that the mascots can play good football too and that is good sign for the tournament.”

AMBASSADORS

Some of the biggest names in Polish and Ukrainian football are helping to promote the tournament as UEFA EURO 2012 ambassadors. Former internationals Zbigniew Boniek and Andrzej Szarmach are flying the flag for Poland, while FC Dynamo Kyiv and Ukraine greats Oleh Blokhin and Andriy Shevchenko are doing everything they can in Ukraine, both on and off the pitch, to help ensure the championship’s success. “It is very important for Ukraine, not only in terms of football development but also for the development of the country and its poeple,” said Shevchenko, who will captain Blokhin’s national side next summer. Boneik, capped 80 times by his country and a member of the Poland team that finished third at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, is looking forward to showing his native land in the best possible light. “It is a fantastic opportunity to show the world what a great country we are,” he said. “I would say to all the fans: come to Poland and see what we have to offer – amazing historical sities and extraordinary countryside and cities.”

VOLUNTEERS

A competition record 23,965 people from across the world have applied to work as volunteers during the tournament from which number 5,500 have been selected to provide support for UEFA’s staff at the event. Volunteering is vital to ensure the smooth running of a successful EURO, and all positions had been made available in 20 different areas of operations from ticketing to transport and accommodation. Former Poland and world heavyweight boxing champions Vitaliy Klitschko both gave their backing to the recruitment drive, with the latter declaring: “I know how many people expect a miracle from EURO 2012, but it will not happen unless each of us contributes to the success of the football festival.”

MATCH BALL

The official match ball for UEFA Euro 2012 is the Adidas Tango 12, which is designed to be easier to dribble and control than the reportedly unpredictable Adidas Jabulani used at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Complete detailed information about the ball over here.

MUSIC

The official UEFA EURO 2012 song is “Endless Summer” by the German singer Oceana – whose 2009 hit Cry Cry topped the charts in Poland and Ukraine as well as other European countries, and featured a video shot in Kyiv. In addition, UEFA has retained the melody that was composed by Rollo Armstrong of Faithless on its behalf for the 2008 tournament. The official Polish song for the tournament is “Koko Euro Spoko” by the folk band Jarzebina. The Republic of Ireland has also produced an official song: “The Rocky Road to Poland” recorded by a collaboration of Irish performers has already reached number 1 in Ireland.

TICKETS

Tickets were sold directly by UEFA via its website, or are to be distributed by the football associations of the 16 finalists. Applications had to be made during March 2011 for the 1.4 million tickets available for the 31 tournament matches. Over 12 million applications were received, which represented a 17% increase on the 2008 finals, and an all-time record for the UEFA European Championship. Owing to this over-subscription for the matches, lotteries were carried out to allocate tickets. Prices varied from €30 (£25) (for a seat behind the goals at a group match) to €600 (£513) (for a seat in the main stand at the final). In addition to individual match tickets, fans could buy packages to see either all matches played by one team, or all matches at one specific venue. In May 2012 UEFA will start sending tickets to fans which bought tickets also immediately UEFA will start selling additional tickets on ticketing website.

TROPHY

Spain’s Iker Casillas had the pleasure of becoming the first captain to lift the updated version of the Henri Delaunay Cup in June 2008, with the new trophy a fitting replacement for the prize that has been synonymous with the UEFA European Championship. The second version of the trophy is based on the original designed by Arthus-Bertrand in 1960 and named after Henri Delaunay, the former president of the French Football Federation and UEFA’s first general secretary, from the body’s founding on 15 June 1954 to 9 November 1955. It is 18cm higher and 2kg heavier than the original, made of sterling silver, and has retained its historical name. The trophy was reincarnated to reflect the scale and size of Europe’s most prestigious international tournament.

The responsibility for creating the original went to Pierre Delaunay, son of Henri, the visionary behind the competition. Henri Delaunay died in 1955 before seeing his idea come to fruition, but the updated prize is testament to his enduring legacy, maintaining its classic style. Minor differences between the original and updated version include the silver base being enlarged to make it stable. In addition, the names of the winning countries that had appeared on the plinth have been engraved on the back of the trophy, which weighs 8kg and is 60cm tall. Unlike the original, which was the work of the Chobillon goldsmith and was later bought by Arthus-Bertrand in Paris, the making of the modern equivalent was entrusted to Asprey London. Asprey, renowned silversmiths, jewellers and goldsmiths, have a long history of trophy-making stretching back to the America’s Cup, which their sister company Garrard produced in 1848. UEFA wanted to improve on the quality but also the scale of the trophy, and have a focal point for the event – it was felt that the original trophy was too small to do this.