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Ukraine try to entice Shevchenko back into soccer as national coach

updated 1:06 PM EST, Tue November 13, 2012
Andriy Shevchenko's last action as a player for Ukraine came at Euro 2012 in July
Andriy Shevchenko's last action as a player for Ukraine came at Euro 2012 in July
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andriy Shevchenko invited to take charge as coach of Ukraine national team
  • Former Chelsea and AC Milan star retired after an 18-year career after Euro 2012
  • The 36-year-old captained Ukraine 56 times and scored 56 goals in 111 games

(CNN) -- Legendary Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko called time on an 18-year soccer career back in July in order to concentrate on a new profession -- politics.

But just four months after turning his back on football, Shevchenko has been offered the chance to immerse himself in the beautiful game once again, as coach of the national side.

As Ukraine's most capped player and their highest goalscorer of all time, with 56 goals in his 111 games, Shevchenko is the finest player the country has produced since gaining independence in 1991.

He won five consecutive league titles with Dynamo Kiev between 1995 and 1999 before joining Italian giants AC Milan, where he played his part in their 2003 European Champions League triumph.

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Shevchenko was signed for English club Chelsea by Jose Mourinho in May 2006 for a reported fee of $47 million but failed to make an impact in his two years at the club.

After another loan spell with Milan he returned to Dynamo Kiev for three final seasons and signed off from the national team after they failed to get out of their group in Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted with neighbors Poland.

Though the 36-year-old has no previous coaching experience, he is the Ukrainian Football Federation's (FFU) first choice to take over from Oleh Blokhin, who left the post to coach Ukrainian club side Dynamo Kiev.

A statement on the FFU's official website read: "President of the Football Federation of Ukraine Anatoliy Konkov has decided to invite Andriy Shevchenko to take the post of head coach.

"Andriy had a prominent schooling at renowned clubs such as the Dynamo Kiev, Milan and Chelsea, led by legendary coaches Valeriy Lobanovskiy, Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho.

"He had a unique ability to absorb their talent, their knowledge and their experience.

"It should be noted that at one time Andriy Shevchenko debuted in the youth national teams under the leadership of Anatoly Ridge. And today the FFU president offers Shevchenko a new debut!"

The statement quoted Konkov as saying: "I'm sure Shevchenko will also be able to conquer great football countries as head coach of this country. He has enough experience and character.

"The federation, in turn, will ensure to give him all the help he needs with the national team."

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