Levchenko: ‘This is Ukraine’s chance of success against the Orange’ | Euro 2020

If you ask Yevgeny Levchenko, the Dutch national team is still the favorite for the group win at the European Championship. ,,But if there is ever a chance for Ukraine to draw or win secretly, it will be on Sunday’, the chairman of the players’ union VVCS refers to the duel in Amsterdam.

Levchenko, eight-time international of Ukraine, is sure that national coach Andrei Shevchenko also saw the Dutch national team practice against Scotland and Georgia last week. ,,They gave away quite a few chances and have not yet mastered the new system with five defenders. Now is a good time to meet them.”

43-year-old Levchenko often joins his country’s national television to analyze Ukraine’s matches. “Shevchenko has made it a close collective,” he says of the former AC Milan and Chelsea striker. ,,We won the qualifying group of the European Championship with only four goals against. In the group we even beat Portugal. Ukraine performs remarkably strong against better teams. In October we beat Spain when we only had the ball for 30 percent of the game and last March we drew against France. It went a lot less against Finland, Bahrain and Kazakhstan. They let us make the game.”

The former football player of Vitesse, Helmond Sport, Cambuur, Sparta, FC Groningen and Willem II says ‘we’ when he talks about Ukraine. ,,Although I also feel Dutch, let’s both go to the eighth finals,’ he says. ,,Normally we have to take the points in the other group matches with Austria and North Macedonia. But the Netherlands is not yet convincing. Although of course they have fantastic players.”

Former PSV player Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City), Ruslan Malinovsky (Atalanta), Andrei Jarmolenko (West Ham United) and the naturalized Marlos (Shahtar Donetsk) are the most famous players in Ukraine. ,,But our strength is the team’, says Levchenko.

Yevgeny Levchenko. © ANP

,,Shevchenko has chosen Italian assistants. They prepare the players very well. In March they even managed to fight Kylian Mbappe against France. Frenkie de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum are great players, but they did not come into their own against Scotland and Georgia. They were swimming a bit and had to run way too much.”

,,The new system with five or three defenders is modern and can work great. But sometimes you have to practice it for a long time,” said the chairman of the VVCS, who does not mind that Ukraine has designed a shirt for the European Championship with a map, including the peninsula of Crimea annexed by Russia and the pro-Russian-controlled separatist regions. Donetsk and Lugansk. “It’s a nice shirt,” he says. “The Russians are talking about political provocation but UEFA has approved the shirt.”

Levchenko: ‘This is Ukraine’s chance of success against the Orange’ | Euro 2020
Source link Levchenko: ‘This is Ukraine’s chance of success against the Orange’ | Euro 2020

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