03:42 - Source: CNN
Shevchenko wants to end on high note

Story highlights

Andriy Shevchenko is the widely recognized as the greatest player in Ukrainian football history

The 35-year-old has played for Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan and Chelsea during his 17-year career

He has also made over 100 appearances for his country, scoring 46 goals in the process

CNN  — 

Andriy Shevchenko has told CNN Sport’s Pedro Pinto that the Euro 2012 finals in his native Ukraine will be his final major football tournament, and he is determined to end his international career on a high.

The 35-year-old Dynamo Kiev striker, who is widely regarded as the greatest Ukrainian player of all time after a celebrated 18-year career with Kiev, AC Milan and Chelsea, is looking forward to next year’s showpiece – and believes co-hosts Ukraine will stage a tournament to remember.

“This will be my final international tournament and I believe everything has been done perfectly to prepare for it,” Shevchenko told CNN.

“There is a great responsibility on the team to perform well, because our supporters and the whole of the country are expecting us to do just that.

Poland and Ukraine primed for Euro 2012 kick off

“It will be hard for us and it will be an achievement just to get out of the group stages and through to the quarterfinals, but I am personally dreaming of reaching the final!” he added.

Shevchenko has scored 46 goals in 105 appearances for his country – and he is not nervous about leading his side out in the finals, despite the weight of a nation’s expectations on his shoulders.

“I have already experienced captaining us at the World Cup finals in Germany in 2006 and it will be equally as important to be captain in 2012.

“We are playing at home, with full stadiums and passionate fans. It will be very special moment for me.”

Captaining his country in a major international tournament on home soil will be a fitting end to a wonderful career for Shevchenko, who is among the greatest forwards the world has ever seen.

Shevchenko is best remembered for his time at AC Milan, where he scored 175 goals in seven seasons – the second most prolific striker in the famous Italian club’s history – as well as helping the club lift the Champions League title in 2003.

It is something Shevchenko is naturally very proud of.

“When I was a child, it was my dream to be a professional footballer. When I was 14 I visited Milan’s San Siro stadium and remember thinking how unbelievable it was,” said Shevchenko.

“From then onwards I vowed that one day I would be playing there – and I am very proud that I achieved this and also for everything else I have managed to achieve in football.”