Shevchenko in dream land
Andriy Shevchenko rolled back the years to again become Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine's hero with his match-winning display against Sweden.
Last Updated: 12/06/12 7:53am
Andriy Shevchenko rolled back the years to once again become Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine's hero with his two-goal, match-winning performance against Sweden.
The former Chelsea striker, who had missed half the season through injury, scored twice in Kiev to cancel out Zlatan Ibrahimovic's opener.
Shevchenko's goals underlined his idol status and ensured Ukraine moved to the top of Group D after one match, with England and France having drawn earlier on Monday.
And the 35-year-old said: "I feel great - it was an historic game for us, it's a victory.
"I feel like 20 years, not 35!
"If I can choose my dreams, I want to dream of a day like that. It's a fantastic day.
"I want to thank everyone who worked with me the last year-and-a-half. I had so many knee and back problems. Now I am fit thanks to them."
Shevchenko's goals in the 55th and 62nd minute sparked wild celebrations in Ukraine and manager Oleg Blokhin was just one of those who was in party mood.
"Andriy did not believe me when I told him I had dreamt he would score two goals," smiled Blokhin, European footballer of the year back in 1975 and, like Shevchenko, who won the accolade in 2004, a favourite son of Dynamo Kiev.
"They (Sweden) played for a draw and had only one man up front in Ibrahimovic. Then they did not indulge in fair play as we had a man down when they scored their goal.
"I congratulate the team, though, for scoring two goals although we were not too good in the final minutes."
Blokhin added: "Everyone had criticised us, saying we were badly prepared. We proved the contrary."