DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 19: Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine looks on during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between England and Ukraine at Donbass Arena on June 19, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
After nearly two decades, Andriy Shevchenko is retiring from football. The former Dynamo Kyiv, Milan and Chelsea player is trading his boots for politics.
If you're going to retire from football, it's best to go out with a bang, with the world remembering you for fantastic feats rather than the way you languished in a bottom-tier club. That's exactly what Andriy Shevchenko is doing. Many had forgotten about the former great until he stormed back on to the world stage at Euro 2012. There he scored two goals in Ukraine's opening match against Sweden, giving the home team the win. Shevchenko still had it. But now, he's trading in his boots for suits, heading for a career in politics.
Shevchenko's career began and ended with Dynamo Kyiv, winning five league titles during his first stint with the club. The striker then caught the eye of AC Milan, who brought him in for a record-breaking fee. Sheva repaid the rossoneri by scoring 175 goals during his time at the club, the second-highest tally in club history. He also snagged the scudetto and the Champions League medal while with Milan.
Then came Chelsea, newly flush with the money of Roman Abramovich. The Russian tempted Shevchenko away from Italy, setting another transfer fee record in the process. Unfortunately for the Blues, the Ukrainian wasn't quite so successful in London, scoring just nine goals in two seasons before heading back to Milan on loan. In 2009, he returned to Dynamo Kyiv.
Shevchenko, captain for his country, led Ukraine to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2006, but many thought he was past his best when watching his performance in 2010 qualification. He wasn't about to retire, however -- at nearly 36 years old, he wanted to lead his country at Euro 2012, on his home turf. And while Ukraine failed to make it out of the group stages, Sheva was still able to hold his head high, retiring with 111 caps for his country and 48 goals in international play.