Who does not know Andriy Shevchenko? This legend of the Ukrainian national team was one of the most dangerous attackers of his time. The Italian League and AC Milan are the luckiest for being able to enjoy the brilliant actions of Shevchenko.
In the span of seven years, from 1999 to 2006, Shevchenko led Milan to win many trophies including the Champions League title in 2003. During his grazing with the Rossoneri, he recorded 175 goals in 322 appearances.
Andriy Shevchenko’s name began to fly when he was still strengthening Dynamo Kyiv, the best club in Ukraine. This 1976-born striker did indeed start everything at Dynamo Kyiv since the age of 10 when he joined the academy.
From 1994 to 1999, Shevchenko strengthened Dynamo Kyiv’s senior team. Many beautiful moments had overshadowed him, such as when he won the championship and became the top scorer in the Ukrainian league.
But during his time with the Dynamo Kyiv, there was one very historical moment that made his name begin to be known to the world.
The incident was created at Camp Nou, the iconic historical stadium of the world’s big club, Barcelona. Exactly that day, on November 5, 1997, Louis Van Gaal received the arrival of Dynamo Kyiv to take part in the Champions League group stage match.
Both Dynamo Kyiv and Barcelona qualified for the European Champions League group stage in 1997 through qualifying. Kyiv got rid of Welsh minnows Barry Town and Danish champion Brøndby, while El Barca defeated Skonto from Latvia.
After three matches in Group C, the two sides then faced each other in the fourth party. At that time, the two teams were in different positions. Barcelona is in the caretaker with only one point, while Kyiv is unbeaten in three matches with a notch 7 points.
Barcelona must lose several key players when facing Kyiv at Camp Nou. But their starting line-up that night still contained Albert Ferrer, Sergi, Luís Figo, and Rivaldo. While on the bench there are only four players, including a young player, Carles Puyol.
But this is Barcelona. This is Camp Nou. Barca supporters hope for a victory to demand revenge following an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Kyiv in the first match.
Meanwhile, Valeriy Lobanovskiy’s troops came in full force, including the rising wonder-kid, Andriy Shevchenko. Although only 21 years old, Shevchenko has been a core player for three seasons.
A total of 52,500 spectators were present at Camp Nou that night. Action has only been running for 9 minutes, Shevchenko has surprised the host public through his goal through a header.
The goal started from a free-kick, the ball sent to the penalty box tried to reach by Barca goalkeeper, Vitor Baia, but Shevchenko through his quick movements managed to escape escort to then welcome the ball and then struck it into the goal through his head.
In the 32nd minute, the Ukrainian player returned a nightmare for Barcelona. Shevchenko takes the ball in the middle area, then gives it to the winger, before running to the penalty box.
And once again it would be an air duel battle between Vitor Baia versus Shevchenko, but there was only one winner. When the Kyiv winger released Crossing into the penalty box, Shevchenko jumped higher than the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms, once again he strongly directed the ball into the goal with his head.
Although the Barca players protested because Shevchenko was considered a foul, Scottish referee Hugh Dallas still endorsed the goal. Score 2-0 for Kyiv.
Both camps attacked each other, but again the Camp Nou was silent when Shevchenko was able to record his hat trick before halftime when his kick from the white spot on 44 minutes failed to anticipate well by Vitor Baia.
Not surprisingly, Shevchenko took the kick. the reason, he also caused Kyiv to be awarded a penalty. At that time the movement of his snaking on the edge of the penalty box made Barcelona’s defense line fooled until finally he was dropped by Fernando Couto. The referee immediately blew the whistle for violations.
Sergei Rebrov completed Dynamo Kyiv’s 4-0 victory over the Blaugrana in the 79th minute. But Shevchenko was the important person creating the goal, he tortured the Barcelona defense who was shocked by its speed, direct motion, and intelligent movements.
For one night Shevchenko became a matador. His prowess was able to devastate the whole Camp Nou, a place that was known to be haunted for the opponents. The goals he scored that night were not the most beautiful he had ever done, but of his 33 goals that season must have been among the most important and impressive.
Dynamo Kyiv continues their journey in the Champions League, they managed to finish as group winners with 11 points. Unfortunately, Bayern Munich stopped their steps in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, by only winning five points, Barcelona was certainly only able to occupy the position of caretaker of the group under Dynamo Kyiv, PSV, and Newcastle. However, El Barca is still able to show its strength in the domestic arena so that it can steal La Liga trophy at the end of the season.
Shevchenko then moved to AC Milan in 1999, becoming a superstar at the San Siro and finally won the Champions League in 2003 after scoring the winning penalty after a goalless draw against Juventus.
As a form of respect, the humble player brought the big ear trophy to the tomb of his extraordinary mentor, Valeriy Lobanovskyi, who had died the previous year. Without Lobanovskyi, and without a night at Camp Nou, who knows how Shevchenko’s career could change.