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Shevchenko trades football for politics

updated 6:21 PM EDT, Sat July 28, 2012
 Andriy Shevchenko celebrates scoring for Ukraine at Euro 2012.
Andriy Shevchenko celebrates scoring for Ukraine at Euro 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko retires from football
  • The forward has joined the political party "Ukraine - Forward!"
  • Shevchenko hopes to "share the experience I gained in Europe"
  • World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko has already founded a political party

(CNN) -- Ukraine and Dynamo Kiev striker Andriy Shevchenko is hanging up his football boots to begin a career in politics.

Ahead of the October parliamentary election, the 35-year-old Shevchenko, who scored 48 goals in 111 caps for his country, is to join "Ukraine -- Forward!", a pro-business party, which was formed by politicians who were expelled by the main opposition coalition that used to be led by former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"It is certain, Dynamo Kiev is now my former club. This club, which I love with all my heart and I will always support," the former AC Milan and Chelsea forward told the Dynamo website.

"I want to fulfill myself in politics and share the experience I gained in Europe, to do something for my country," said Shevchenko, while visiting a children's summer school with Ukraine -- Forward! leader Nataliya Korolevska.

Searching for the next Shevchenko
Euro 2012 sparked into life when striker Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the tournament against Greece. Despite a lively opening, the co-hosts had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Euro 2012 sparked into life when striker Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the tournament against Greece. Despite a lively opening, the co-hosts had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
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"I decided to join the team of Nataliya Korolevska because Ukraine -- Forward! is a party of the future, it is a party of young leaders.

"In politics, I plan to support the social sector and sport. After all, my main slogan is a healthy mind in a healthy body."

Shevchenko, who began and started his career with Dynamo Kiev, made his final appearance for the national team at Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted with neighbours Poland.

He is not the first Ukrainian sportsman to enter national politics.

Heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko has his own political party -- the "Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform" -- and is expected to be a serious contender in October's elections.

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