The former goal scorer has taken his country further than they have ever been in a major competition, and he is eager to continue
Andriy Shevchenko told his Ukrainian players that they should not be afraid of England, while insisting that “anything is possible” in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
Ukraine booked their place in the last eight of the European Championships for the first time in their history by beating Sweden 2-1 after extra time in the Round of 16.
Shevchenko’s team will now start preparing for a meeting with England, who achieved a 2-0 victory over Germany in the first knockout phase. The 44-year-old is well aware of the threat that the Three Lions will pose in Rome on Saturday night.
What was said?
“England are an excellent team, they have a deep bench, an excellent coaching team and we are fully aware of how difficult this match is going to be,” the Ukrainian boss told reporters after the Sweden win.
‘I saw all three of their group matches, not today’s victory over Germany, because we had to prepare for our own match with Sweden.
“They are incredibly difficult to record, but their power should not scare us.
“It should motivate us, because anything is possible in football as in life and we will fight our hearts out to give our fans even more to cheer about.”
Ukraine’s route to the last eight
Ukraine opened their Euro campaign with a 3-2 defeat against the Netherlands, but impressed after initially falling back from two goals before awarding a late winner.
They followed up the encouraging performance with a 2-1 win over Northern Macedonia, and despite losing their last final in Pool C 1-0 to Austria, they advanced to the last 16 as one of the four best third-ranked countries.
Ukraine then put on their best performance yet against Sweden, with Manchester City star Zinchenko starting the score with a powerful attack just before the hour mark.
Emil Forsberg scored an equalizer to force extra time, but the Swedes had a mountain to climb after seeing in the 99th minute that Marcus Danielson was sent off.
The bigger picture
The latest European championships have yielded more than a few surprises with France, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands already out, and Ukraine will have their chance to get another big scalp this weekend.
However, England will be the favorites to reach the quarter-finals after scoring four consecutive kicks. The winner is rewarded with a final fourth draw against the Czech Republic or Denmark.