Andriy Shevchenko: "I am proud of the players of the national team of Ukraine, there were real lions on the pitch"

Head coach of the national team of Ukraine Andriy Shevchenko held a press conference after the match with the Portuguese team, which results in blue and yellow have acquired the right take part in the Euro-2020 final.

- I have a lot of emotions, - said Andriy Shevchenko at the beginning of the conversation with the media, - now I am very happy. I want to thank all of Ukraine and Kyiv for their support. The stadium gave the team a boost, especially when we were ten. I am proud of the players, I saw real lions on the field. Evaluating this qualifying round that we went through together, I can thank the players for their dedication and for the game they showed.

I also want to thank the Portuguese team for their high quality football. We were twice as pleased to get a ticket to play with such a rival.

And last but not least, I kept my promise after the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, when I said that fans can book tickets for the Euros.  

- You defeated the European champions today. Isn't it time to become champions yourself?

- This is a high bar, which should be reached gradually. The team is showing progress now, and that's good.

- How expected was a quick goal for you, and what adjustments did you make after the removal of Stepanenko and the ball by Cristiano Ronaldo?

- We played at home. The first half was great, finally scored from the standard. So, our work on these situations is not in vain. As for the end of the match, when we remained in the minority, we looked at the condition of the players. Mykolenko had an injury, we didn't know if Yarmolenko would be able to keep up until the end, but he survived. All the players gave a lot of strength, but we persevered.

- Weren't you surprised by the absence of Bruno Fernandez and some other performers in the starting lineup of the Portuguese national team?

- There are so many quality players in Portugal that you should not pay attention to it. I might be surprised if they didn't include Cristiano Ronaldo. This team has a whole galaxy of young talented players. Playing alongside stars like Ronaldo, they are growing fast.

- What is the atmosphere in your team's locker room now? Is the circle you built after the match impromptu?

- Yes, it was impromptu. This is not prepared. We decided to thank the fans for their support. Everything is fine in the locker room, all the guys are happy. Now let's go, have dinner somewhere together, now you can relax a bit.  

- Have you already thought about what this team is capable of at Euro 2020?

- We must first wait for the draw of the final tournament, find out which opponents we will lose. As time goes on, we will look at the young players who will appear. Preparation for the tournament will take place, then we will set tasks. This team has a future, and we will define specific goals on the eve of the Euro.

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