Tournament News

Shevchenko wants redemption

2009-03-30 18:14
Andriy Shevchenko (File)
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London - Ukraine forward Andriy Shevchenko is dreaming of scoring a goal at Wembley against England on Wednesday in a 2010 World Cup qualifier to try to forget the last three miserable seasons.

Three years ago Shevchenko was one of the best and most sought-after strikers in Europe and billionaire owner Roman Abramovich stumped up a then British record transfer fee to bring the Ukrainian to Chelsea from AC Milan.

However, the former Dynamo Kiev frontman failed to find his previous form and could not earn a regular starting berth in the Cheslea team.

Last summer he returned to Milan on loan and after initially starting for the rossonero, he has found himself pushed back down the pecking order to the point that he almost never gets a run-out and even then only for a few minutes at the end of a game.

So now the 32-year-old wants to show Wembley and the world what they've all been missing out on for the last three years.

"I'm dreaming about a goal at Wembley because it would be my 40th for the national team," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Most of all I dream about scoring a goal that helps us to qualify. This match is vital but the one against Croatia will be the key." As important as the match is for Ukraine, for Shevchenko it is a chance at redemption having been consistently overlooked by his last three club bosses: Jose Mourinho and then Avram Grant at Chelsea and now Carlo Ancelotti at Milan.

But Shevchenko denied he is hoping a good performance at Wembley may convince Ancelotti to call on him more often.

"With the national team I have a chance to do the thing I love, playing football," he said.

"But for the coach it's not easy to send someone onto the pitch who never plays. It's an important game for us but I'm not dreaming of putting pressure on (Ancelotti)."

Shevchenko has started only two Serie A matches for Milan this season, making another 11 substitute appearances in their 29 games.

He started six of their eight Uefa Cup matches and their only game in the Coppa Italia but Ancelotti used both those competitions to rotate his squad.

Even so, the Ukrainian does not regret his move back to Italy.

"I don't regret anything. I needed to rehabilitate myself physically and I've done that at Milan," he said.

"I haven't been used but I've always been available. When I came back I said that I had accepted certain concessions.

"I knew that no-one was going to give me any presents, I knew I was last in the line of forwards.

"I'll keep behaving professionally until the last and then I'll return to London.

"That's where I live but I don't know where football will take me next season. I'll talk to Chelsea and then we'll decide." Shevchenko will run out at the new Wembley for the first time and he is hoping his team can upset the home side.

"We have a young group that can improve. We know that England are one of the best teams and we hope to be able to do something good at Wembley.

"I've never played at the new stadium, I was injured when Chelsea played there. I played twice at the old stadium and that was emotional."

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