The former Ukrainian football coach, Andrei Shevchenko, sees his country as a valuable potential member of the European Union in the face of the Russian invasion. Ukraine is paying a very high price to prove that it is a worthy member of the European family, the former representative said in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung (Tuesday). “The fact is: Ukraine defends the EU’s democratic values - and freedom. My country deserves to be part of the great European family and believe me: my country has great potential to strengthen the EU, he stressed.
The day Russia started the war in Ukraine “was the worst day of my life,” said the 45-year-old. Former striker – playing incl. at AC Milan and Chelsea – he still does not want to return to his country to fight there. He thought about it a lot, but then after many talks with former boxing world champions, incl. Witalij and Vladimir Klitschko decided to raise funds for humanitarian aid abroad. “Everyone has a place: one in front, others in different places. I think I am doing the right thing, he said.
Shevchenko, who, by his own admission, still has a contract as a coach at FC Genoa, who sacked him in mid-January, is linked to the United24 organization. It was initiated by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who collects money for medical aid, but also for the defense and reconstruction of the country.
“I take care of fundraising, especially for medical aid,” Shevchenko said. And further: “The government takes care of the remaining fields.” At a recent auction in London, the equivalent of approximately 1.2 million francs was obtained. “We want to start a new project soon to bring the mobile operating tables and ambulances to the front lines,” he said.