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Euro 2012 Spotlight - Ukraine
Footytubeblog (Blog) 4 years ago

FIFA World Ranking

Tournament Odds

Key Players
Andriy Shevchenko– FW – 105 Caps, 46 Goals
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk– MF - 114 Caps, 4 Goals

Team Rating

C: England, France, Sweden, Ukraine

Notable Facts
  • 5 of Ukraine’s top 10 capped players are in the current squad.

  • They reached the QF of the 2006 WC.

  • Have missed out on qualifying for 3 major tournaments at the knock out qualification stage.

Ukraine’s Chances
Having played their first match as an independent FIFA certified nation in 1992 the co-hosts do not have the same history as many of the other teams who have qualified this year but they do pose one or two potential threats.

They’ve only qualified for one major tournament in their history as a nation and that was the 2006 World Cup in which they were the surprise package of the tournament reaching the Quarter Finals after defeating Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in the group stage and also Switzerland in the last 16. They have also had a number of near misses having failed to qualify for 3 major tournaments at the very last stage of qualification (the knock out games played by teams finishing 2nd in their group). The odd goal here or there and they may now be sitting on a much prettier record.

Even though their biggest successes may seem like 5 or 6 years ago it’s worth noting that 5 of their top 10 all time capped players are currently in their squad and many of them have significant international experience including all time top scorer, and one time £31m Chelsea signing Andriy Shevchenko. Their squad also boasts all time highest capped player, midfield maestro Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, he doesn’t score many goals but having spent a few seasons at Bayern Munch he also has top level experience.

Even though most of Ukraine’s best players are now past the prime which saw the team elevated to the top 20 of FIFA’s world rankings in 2007, the motivation of playing in front of their home crowd may lift the old legs enough for one last hurrah in give them a “better than it might seem” chance of causing an upset in group D.

The main concern over the Ukraine team is that all but two of their squad currently plies their trade in the Ukrainian national league. Whilst leagues in Eastern Europe are improving you can’t help but feel that the huge jump in quality of opposition may be beyond a lot of their players who seem to have gone home and put themselves out to pasture after stints in better leagues during their best years.

Their only real hope of qualifying from the group stage is that their oppositions in England and France, who do have recent history of choking on the big stage, really hang themselves this time and provide a very small back door for Ukraine’s sizable Zimmer frames to squeeze through.

“Araz Index”
Chance of qualifying from Group: 25%
Predicted Knock Out Stage: Group Stage

“Matt Index”
Chance of qualifying from Group: 10%
Predicted Knock Out Stage: Group Stage

Matt's Possibly True Trivia

  • Shevchenko is actually a cyborg which is why he never appears to age.

  • The squad have adopted the Black Lace classic 'Agadoo' as their pre match song to get them all pumped up.

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
Superfanof (Manchester United) 4 years ago
So glad to watch shevchenko playing again
Kavir (Queens Park Rangers) 4 years ago
Hi Dear Araz  Weld one. Excellent article. Thanks a lot for your very nice writing

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