Andriy Shevchenko said he’s retiring from international soccer following Ukraine’s elimination from the European Championship.
Shevchenko, 35, was omitted from the starting line-up for last night’s final group game against England because of a knee injury. Ukraine, which had to win to reach the quarterfinals, lost 1-0 at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.
“It was my last official game for Ukraine,” the striker said. “A bit later on I will arrange a farewell game to say goodbye to supporters.”
Shevchenko has scored every year for the national team since making his debut for Ukraine in 1995. He scored 48 goals in 111 international matches and was captain for Ukraine’s only World Cup appearance in 2006. He got both goals in a 2-1 victory over Sweden on June 11.
Shevchenko rose to prominence after winning five league championships in as many years at Dynamo Kiev. He was voted European Player of the Year in 2004, a year after he won the Champions League with AC Milan.
Shevchenko returned to Kiev in 2009 following three years at Chelsea, where he failed to show the form that persuaded the London team to pay Milan 30.8 million pounds ($48.4 million) to release him.
Shevchenko said Ukraine’s younger players showed in the defeat to England that they can continue to challenge top teams.
“We were in control and had many chances to score,” Shevchenko said. “I’m glad for our young players who played well tonight. This team has a bright future.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at email@example.com