Andriy Shevchenko will today have the honour of leading Ukraine into a quarter final of a European Championships for the first time in his nations history.
The side will hoping to go one better than the quarter final they achieved at the 2006 World Cup, it’s current furthest progression at a major tournament. There again Shevchenko led from the front, this time as captain.
There is no escaping it, the history of Ukrainian football is inexorably intertwined with the name, Andriy Shevchenko.
Following its breakaway from the Soviet Union, Ukraine played Hungary in its first official match on the 29th April 1992.
Just two years and ten months later, an 18 year old Andriy Shevchenko first took to the field for his country. Another year later he scored his first goal, along the way becoming his nations youngest ever goalscorer.
Skip forward almost sixteen years and a now 35 year old Shevchenko acted as the talismanic captain of his side as they battled it out on home soil at the 2012 Euro’s. His two goals against Sweden in the sides historic 2-1 win were the last he ever scored for his country and gave Shevchenko the remarkable distinction of concurrently being both his countries youngest and oldest goalscorer.