Andriy Shevchenko is the man who Gareth Southgate must pit his wits against on Saturday when England take on Ukraine for a place in the semi-finals of Euro 2020.
Southgate has barely put a foot wrong so far this tournament. He kept faith with Raheem Sterling when people were calling for him to be dropped, his selection of Kalvin Phillips looks inspired, and even the tactical tweaks to play Kieran Trippier at left-back against Croatia or wing-backs against germany have come up trumps.
Now, he must get the better of the Ukraine’s most famous footballing son if England are to have a chance of winning Euro 2020.
Who is Ukraine’s manager?
Andriy Shevchenko is Ukraine’s head coach. He was appointed manager in 2016 aged just 39 after spending some time as assistant.
He was first approached to be the national team boss in 2012 but turned down the opportunity.
Shevchenko's assistant is Mauro Tassotti who he played with at AC Milan.
Who is Andriy Shevchenko?
Shevchenko is the most famous Ukrainian footballer of all time. Throughout the 2000s, he was one of the most feared strikers in Europe and won the Ballon D’or in 2004.
He started his career at Dynamo Kiev before transferring to AC Milan for £22million. He scored 127 goals in 208 appearances for Milan, and won the Champions League in 2003, but then missed the vital penalty in the 2005 Champions League Final penalty shootout against Liverpool.
Shevchenko joined Chelsea for a British record £30million in 2006. His spell at Stamford Bridge came when he was on the decline – but he still showed enough flashes of class in helping them to the Champions League final in 2008 and scoring 22 times for the Blues.
He had a loan spell back at Milan before finishing his career back at Dynamo Kiev. He retired in 2012 and stood for election to the Ukrainian Parliament later that year, but failed to win representation.
What is Shevchenko’s win percentage as a manager?
The job as Ukraine head coach was Shevchenko’s first job as a manager. He steered Ukraine to Euro 2020 as they topped their qualifying group ahead of Portugal. He has a 49% win record as Ukraine manager.
What formation does Andriy Shevchenko play?
Shevchenko has shown in his manageral career that he isn’t afraid to swap systems and has used no fewer than six different formations. His preferred system is the 4-3-3 he played in the group stages against the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Austria, before switching to a 3-5-2 formation against Sweden. Much like Gareth Southgate and England.
It would be a surprise if Ukraine don’t look to sit deep before trying to hit England on the counter-attack. Shevchenko is happy to let the opposition dominate the ball and then use the wide forwards as a way of getting out.
“I want the team to play creative football,” he said.
“But there must be a balance. Players must understand when to attack and when to defend or control the ball, when to circle and when to give.”