Who is Andriy Shevchenko?
Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko is a former football player, manager, and politician from Ukraine. He is known for his seven-year-long tenure at A.C. Milan and three-year-long tenure at Chelsea. Between 1995 and 2012, he was a member of the Ukrainian national team and holds the distinction of being the all-time top scorer in its history. He won the Ballon d'Or in 2004 and the Bronze Award at the 2004 FIFA World Player of the Year ceremony. Shevchenko is one of the most prolific players in Milan’s history and has won a Serie A, a Coppa Italia, a Supercoppa Italiana, a UEFA Champions League, and a UEFA Super Cup with them. He retired from football in June 2012 and subsequently joined politics as a member of the Ukraine – Forward! Party. In 2012, he unsuccessfully contested in the Ukrainian parliamentary election. Despite his political ventures, he had expressed his desire to manage the Ukrainian national team. Shevchenko briefly served as the assistant manager for the team before he was made the manager in July 2016.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on September 29, 1976, in Dvirkivshchyna, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, Andriy Shevchenko is the son of Praporshchik Mykola Hryhorovych Shevchenko and his wife Lyubov Mykolaivna Shevchenko. He has a sister named Elena. In 1979, he relocated to Kyiv – Obolon with his family.
In Kyiv, he attended the 216th City School, where he joined the football section in 1986 at the age of nine. At some point, he also took up boxing but ultimately chose football over it to pursue as a career.
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Although he failed to secure himself a spot at a specialist sports school in Kyiv, Andriy Shevchenko found a place in Dynamo Kyiv in 1986. He played in the junior levels for the following seven years before he made his first appearance as a member of the senior squad in 1994. During his time there, he played 117 matches and scored 60 goals.
The enigmatic striker was recruited by the Italian club A.C. Milan for a then-record transfer fee of $25 million. He debuted in Serie A on August 28, 1999, in a 2–2 draw with Lecce.
It did not take him long to prove that Milan had made the right investment. He became the top goal scorer in his first season and went to play 208 matches between 1999 and 2006, scoring 127 goals.
In 2006, Shevchenko departed from Milan and signed with Chelsea for £30.8 million. However, he was not as successful there as he was at Milan, scoring nine goals in 48 matches between 2006 and 2009.
In 2008, he was loaned to Milan for a year, during which he appeared in 18 matches, failing to score a single goal.
On August 28, 2009, Shevchenko returned to his old club by signing a two-year contract with Dynamo Kyiv. This time, he played 55 matches and scored 23 goals.
He retired from football on July 28, 2012, to join politics. In the club circuit, Shevchenko scored 219 goals in 446 matches in his career.
Andriy Shevchenko played eight games for the Ukraine U18 team between 1994 and 1995 and seven matches for the U21 team between 1994 and 1995. He made his international debut in 1995 and went on to play 111 games as a member of Ukrainian national team, scoring 48 goals in total.
He delivered instrumental performances during Ukraine’s 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012 campaigns. He retired from international football following Ukraine’s elimination from the latter tournament.
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On February 16, 2016, Shevchenko was appointed as the assistant manager of the Ukrainian national team under manager Mykhaylo Fomenko. On 15 July, he was promoted to the managerial post after Fomenko was sacked due to Ukraine’s early departure from Euro 2016. He currently has a 55.56% winning record.
In the late 1990s, Andriy Shevchenko came out in support of the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united). He also appeared on the campaign trail for candidate Viktor Yanukovych during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election.
Following his retirement in 2012, he became a member of the Ukraine – Forward! (formerly known as Ukrainian Social Democratic Party) and was listed second among the party’s candidates for the October 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election. His party failed to win parliamentary representation in the election.
Family & Personal Life
Andriy Shevchenko is a close friend of designer and fashion mogul, Giorgio Armani. It was at one of Armani’s parties that he met Polish-American model Kristen Pazik in 2002.
The couple exchanged wedding vows on July 14, 2004, in a private ceremony on a golf course in Washington, D.C. They speak to each other in Italian.
On October 29, 2004, the couple’s oldest son, Jordan, was born. He was followed by Kristian (November 10, 2006), Alexander (October 1, 2012), and Rider Gabriel (April 6, 2014).
Shevchenko and Pazik run Ikkon.com together. It is an e-commerce website for selling and purchasing products related to men’s fashion and lifestyle.
He was made an ambassador for the SOS Children's Villages charity in June 2005.
He has also set up a foundation for helping orphaned children.