Ukraine Soccer Betting Odds
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Nicknames: Zhovto-Blakytni ("the Yellow-Blues")
Head coach: Oleh Blokhin
Captain: Andriy Shevchenko
Most caps: Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (107)
Top scorer: Andriy Shevchenko (45)
Home stadium: Olympic Stadium, Kiev
Football is the most popular sport in Ukraine, a country vying with Russia for the honour of being the best team to have emerged from the former Soviet Union. The association can look back on a string of successes. The flag bearer of Ukrainian football, Dynamo Kiev, won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1975 and 1986 while the national futsal team claimed the silver medal at the UEFA Futsal Championship in 2003. Oleg Blochin is the most-famous Ukrainian player of recent times. He was part of the Dynamo Kiev team that won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1975 and was also named as European Player of the Year in the same year. He scored 211 goals in 432 games. The highlight of his coaching career so far has been to help Ukraine to their first ever World Cup final competition, which they will be contesting in Germany 2006. Today's star is Andriy Shevchenko, who plays for AC Milan, with whom he won the UEFA Champions League in 2003. Valeri Lobanovski was the coach of the Soviet Union and Ukraine. He also led Dynamo Kiev to their European Cup Winners' Cup triumphs in 1975 and 1986. An international football tournament, held in Kiev, has been held in his honour ever since his death in 2002 (Lobanovski Memorial International Tournament).
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
The Union of European Football Associations, almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer. UEFA represents most of the national football associations of Europe, runs national and club competitions in its area, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those competitions. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia transcontinental nations such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Russia, are members of the UEFA rather than AFC, as are Israel and Cyprus which lie entirely in Asia.