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May 31, 2011

Shevchenko reveals retirement plan

Dynamo Kiev striker Andriy Shevchenko has announced that he will retire from football after next summer's Euro 2012 finals, which take place in Poland and his native Ukraine.

Shevchenko, 34, is his country's all-time leading scorer with 45 goals in 100 games over the past 15 years and he believes there will be no better way to end his career than at the European Championship.

"I have decided I will leave football after Euro 2012," Shevchenko is quoted as saying by La Repubblica. "It is a definitive choice."

Speaking of Ukraine's chances in Euro 2012, he added: "Mentally we are already there and we want to do our best in front of the fans. I also think Ukraine can beat any of the national sides who are favourites to win it if we have a bit of luck."

Shevchenko has enjoyed an illustrious career, which started at Dynamo Kiev and took him to Italian giants AC Milan. The striker was a scoring sensation for the Rossoneri, netting 175 goals in a seven-year spell at the San Siro that saw him win the European Cup in 2003 and the Ballon d'Or in 2004.

But since leaving Milan for Chelsea in a record-breaking move in 2006, he has been on a downward spiral. He struggled badly to recreate the prolific form that convinced Blues owner Roman Abramovich to part with £30.6 million for him and scored just 22 goals in three years at Stamford Bridge.

Even a loan move back to Milan couldn't help him rediscover his scoring touch and he left Chelsea for first club Dynamo Kiev in 2009. He has experienced a resurgence of sorts back in Ukraine, netting 16 goals in 32 games this season.

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