Voronin gets top player award

12 January 2012 10:46

Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin, who is currently playing with Russian Premier League side Dynamo Moscow, was on Thursday named player of the year in the former Soviet Union region.

The 32-year-old striker - who previously played for German Bundesliga sides Borussia Moenchengladbach, Cologne, Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin as well Liverpool in England - collected 175 points in a poll conducted by Russian sports daily Sport Express among 45 newspapers and magazines in the former Soviet republics.

The award caps a triumphant return to eastern Europe for the Odessa-born Ukrainian, whose spell at Liverpool started promisingly but was blighted by injury and a lack of first team appearances.

He signed for Dynamo in 2010 and since then has played 31 games for the club scoring 12 goals.

Zenit St Petersburg forward Alexander Kerzhakov, who won the award in 2010, finished second, while his teammate goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev was third.

Voronin said the prize would boost his confidence ahead of this summers Euro 2012 tournament, which Ukraine co-hosts with neighbours Poland.

"I'm happy I managed to win a regular place in Dynamo's starting line-up last season. This year I will need to confirm my position both in Dynamo and Ukraine's national team."

"The draw put Ukraine into a group with very strong opponents. England and France look clear favourites, while Sweden also are strong.

"However, if our players work together as a single unit we have a chance to reach the knock-out stages.

"Our performance in the last friendly matches with Germany (3-3) and Austria (2-1) give us hope we will be able to do it."

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44