Shevchenko still co-hosts' talisman

10 June 2012 04:47

His best days as one of Europe's top marksmen may now be behind him but even at the age of 35 former European player of the year Andrei Shevchenko remains a talismanic figure for co-hosts Ukraine.

Assorted injury problems meant that Shevchenko played barely 20 matches over the season - and none from December to April.

Yet national team coach Oleg Blokhin was eager to include him in the squad for his talismanic status and indeed his experience of the biggest stages while the player benefited from a specially-concocted light training programme to help to get him ready.

"Andrei is not any old footballer - he is also a personality with immense and indisputable authority which a team so needs," said Blokhin.

Source: AFP