Andriy Shevchenko 7
Well.. quite surprise that one of our best player in Milan history thread is not here and he is retiring this Summer. For me since Sheva leave for Chelsea, no player had ever played better in your number 7. I always felt you will score when we used to play Inter which indeed proved you are our top scorer when vs them. Your final penalty kick in Manchester vs Juventus will be my best memory with you. Forza Sheva!

From Andriy Shevchenko's seven greatest career moments

Andriy Shevchenko, one of the best strikers of his generation, announced late on Friday night that he is retiring as a professional football player.

The 35-year-old enjoyed a hugely successful career, particularly with Dinamo Kiev and AC Milan, amassing 299 goals for the two clubs combined. In June, he reached his pinnacle in international football when he guided Ukraine, co-hosts of Euro 2012, to a stunning win over Sweden in Kiev by scoring a brace.

Shevchenko also lifted the Ballon d'Or in 2004 to add to the 19 trophies he won at club level from Ukraine to Italy to England. He has enjoyed an illustrious career since making his debut for Dynamo Kiev back in 1994 and takes a look back at some of his greatest moments.

1. The glorious hat-trick at Camp Nou

It was the first time all of Europe sat up and took notice of the phenomenal talent that was Shevchenko.

Granted, it wasn’t the greatest Barcelona side – quite the contrary. It took Louis van Gaal time to rebuild the team in his first season in 1997-98, and they finished bottom of their group in the Champions League.

Still, bagging a first half hat-trick at the famous stadium was an amazing moment for the then 21-year-old Shevchenko. The first two were headers, although both were mostly due to terrible errors by Vitor Baia, whose Barca career was unsurprisingly finished there and then.

The third was a penalty en route to a classic 4-0 win. Dinamo Kiev was stopped by Juventus in the quarterfinals that season, but next year it went one better, qualifying for the semifinals, with Sheva scoring 10 times in Europe in his farewell home campaign.

2. The drama at Luzhniki

This wasn’t the greatest of efforts, not by a long shot, but it entered the history books immediately and became an all-time classic.

On a cold October night in Moscow in 1999, Russia hosted Ukraine in the crucial final game of the Euro 2000 qualifiers. Both needed to win to top the group and qualify directly for the tournament. The Russians pressed for most of the match, looking for a seventh successive win, and were rewarded when Valery Karpin scored a screamer.

Three minutes from time, Sheva took a rather tame free kick from the left. Hapless keeper Aleksandr Filimonov dropped it into the net, and the 1-1 draw sent Oleg Romantsev's team crashing out, with France qualifying instead.

Ukraine finished second thanks to that slice of luck, but sadly for Shevchenko they lost to Slovenia in the playoffs, and were forced to wait 12 long years for their maiden appearance in the European Championship finals.

3. That goal against Juventus

After moving to AC Milan in 1999, Sheva instantly became one of the most feared strikers in Serie A, scoring 24 goals in his debut season, and repeating the feat in 2000-01.

The most beautiful strike, and arguably Shevchenko’s best, came in December 2001, when he single-handedly made a mockery of Edgar Davids, Ciro Ferrara, Paolo Montero and Gianluca Pessotto, before sending a missile into the far top corner above Gianluigi Buffon.

This was a perfect present for Carlo Ancelotti’s first game on the Milan bench after being sacked by Juve. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, though, but Sheva's strike was a welcome highlight in what became a rather disappointing season for the Rossoneri.

4. Beating Inter in the Champions League

Shevchenko is the all-time top scorer in the Derby della Madonnina, with 14 goals (not to mention the 15th scored against Inter in a Dinamo Kiev shirt).

One of them was particularly crucial, as the Ukrainian was responsible for a glorious away goal versus the city rivals in the 2003 Champions League semifinal. Receiving the ball in the penalty area, Sheva waltzed past Ivan Cordoba with his first touch, and put the ball beyond Francesco Toldo with his second.

Obafemi Martins scored the equalizer for the Nerazzurri, but it proved academic – Shevchenko did enough to send Milan into the final.

5. The decisive penalty at Old Trafford

That 2003 all-Italian final turned out to be quite a drab affair, but it didn’t really matter to Sheva, who was the hero despite a rather mediocre performance against Juventus in Manchester.

With more penalties missed than scored in the shootout, the pressure was immense ahead of the last kick, and the Ukrainian kept his cool to slot the ball past Buffon. After lifting the trophy, he took it to Valery Lobanovsky’s grave to tell his beloved mentor, who died a year before, about the great achievement.

6. Peerless in 2004

That was quite a year for Sheva! In his very top form, he finally led Milan to its only Scudetto during his eight seasons at San Siro, including scoring with a header of outrageous quality in the title decider against Roma in the beginning of May.

For the third time in his career, Shevchenko finished the Serie A season with 24 goals. His outstanding play was rewarded with the Ballon d'Or crown, even though he didn’t play at Euro 2004.

After Oleg Blokhin in 1975 and Igor Belanov in 1986, Sheva is the third Ukrainian to be voted Europe’s top footballer, and the only one since the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

7. The magical night in Kiev

He waited for this moment for five long years. He wasn’t supposed to start; he squandered the only chance in a rather poor first half; he was screaming with pain after being hit hard on his knee. And at times, he looked frustrated.

But in the end it was a night of glory for Shevchenko, as he netted two sumptuous headers to give Ukraine its maiden European Championship win in its first-ever game in the tournament. Blokhin said he had a dream of Sheva scoring a brace in the match against the Swedes, but Andriy himself didn’t believe it was possible.

In the end, the dream came true.
Forza Milan I Love U
I remember his first season with us. I knew that half of Europe went for his signature after Kiev's run to UCL semifinal but I wasn't that enthusiastic even after he scored on his debut. He's clinical alright, a good goal-scorer, but I was waiting for the wow factor, a sign that he too is a scorer of great goals.

I didn't need to wait long for that. The hattrick against Lazio (especially one when he dribbled past their GK and with Nesta sliding to close down the angle, smacked the ball to the top corner) showed that he has those two qualities. He surely is the best thing that happened to us after San Marco.
free loan with option to buy ™
aka xudong
Lazio team, Boksic,Simeone,Conceicao,Veron,Salas,Mihajlovic,Pancaro,Favali,Nesta,Mancini......Veron was amanzing for Lazio..
No ho visto Superman volare, ma ho visto Super Pippo segnare. I supereroi esistono davvero.
although i hated him from the bottom of my heart when he left for chelsea (remember kissing their crest after 2-3 games ?? ), somehow during this euro all those negative feelings went away and i cheered for him agains current milan player (vs sweden).

he was perhaps the best pure scorer of his generation, and i thank him for everything he has done for milan.

p.s. I hope he divorced that bitch.
(07-29-2012, 02:37 AM)Stitch Wrote: although i hated him from the bottom of my heart when he left for chelsea (remember kissing their crest after 2-3 games ?? ), somehow during this euro all those negative feelings went away and i cheered for him agains current milan player (vs sweden).

he was perhaps the best pure scorer of his generation, and i thank him for everything he has done for milan.

p.s. I hope he divorced that bitch.

I believe it was his first match for Chelsea, against Liverpool in the Community Shield.
aka xudong
Yes it was his first match. He delightfully controlled a long pass with his chest and perfectly slotted the ball in. I would've clapped my hand if he hadn't kissed the badge since it really was a well-taken goal. I have no beef with his missus but I really, really hate his publicized reason (raising his son in English-speaking country). FFS man, why couldn't he just stop at "family reason" instead of went into such detail that insulted our intelligence.

That said I couldn't hate him when he returned on loan, in fact I got misty-eyed. He's nowhere near his old self but the gesture itself was like an aplogize, sort of making peace with the past. After that I can only say good things about him. Forza Sheva!
free loan with option to buy ™
A true modern great, Shevchenko was our greatest number 7 and will for me always remain a part of this club. I wish him all the best in the future.
After Shevchenko's flop, I thought that our players would learn from him and never want to leave Milan. Yet there were still Kaka, and Silva and Ibrahimovic (even though I don't really miss the Swede).
aka xudong
You expect all those to return at some point?

Ibra when he is 40 :p