24 football teams are going to fight for the victory at Euro 2016 championship in France. As we cheer for Ukraine, we want our readers to become better acquainted with our national team - learn about its strengths and weaknesses, biggest achievements on the path to Euro-2016, as well as its leading stars and coaches. Ukraine performs in Group C, having such strong rivals as Germany, Poland and Northern Ireland.
Nickname - Yellow-Blues
For the second time in its history, after the home Euro 2012, Ukrainian team will play at the European Championships. In addition Ukrainians once participated in the finals of the World Cup - in 2006, where they have immediately managed to reach the quarter finals. The our team task for this tournament is very simple - to move as far as possible in the tournament bracket.
In the FIFA world team ranking Ukraine occupies 19th place (as on June 2016; 22nd place in May). Betting odds on the victory of Ukrainians in the tournament - 81 to 1 (William Hill quotations as on June 6). On May 26 quotations were 101 to 1.
Way to Euro 2016
The qualifying tournament, as it usually happens with Ukrainian national team, was a thriller to their fans just as the previous ones. Having lost already in the starting home match against Slovakia, the team of Mykhaylo Fomenko to the last tried to catch up with the leaders of the group C – previously mentioned Slovaks and the current champions of Europe - Spaniards.
As a result, the Ukrainians had to settle for the third place, which only due to the updated rules of UEFA allowed them to cling to the opportunity to play in the playoffs of qualifying tournament. So Ukrainian squad has completed their group stage on the third place, behind the Spaniards and Slovaks and beating Belarus, Macedonia and Luxembourg with a score of 6 wins, 1 draw and three defeats in 10 matches. Difference between their goals scored and conceded: 14: 4. Also in the play-offs Ukraine has managed to beat the national team of Slovenia with a score of 3: 1 on aggregate (2: 0, 1: 1).
Fans of the Ukrainian team can be divided into three groups: those who like Andriy Yarmolenko; those who like Yevgen Konoplyanka (the owner of the League Cup Europe 2016, by the way); and those who like none of them.Of course, after the completion ofAndriy Shevchenko’s playing career, exactly the attacking midfieldersof "Dynamo" (Kyiv) and "Sevilla", respectively, are the main stars of the "yellow-blues". The flank attacks of Konoplyanka from the left and Yarmolenko from the right are the main hope of the national team at Euro 2016.In the qualifying tournament Yarmolenko scored four goals, and Konoplyanka - two.
Yevgen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko
67-year-old Mykhaylo Fomenko is not the most popular coach among Ukrainian fans. Many experts also do not share the defensive style of play, teaching by this instructor. But it seems like this discontent doesn’t hurt the phlegmatic specialist. Answering many comments, accusations and other "rationalization proposals" that are often sound at press conferences, Fomenko loves to say "Well, as you wish," and thеn continuing his previous tactics. Whatever the audience thinks of the coach but the Ukrainian team nevertheless passed through the qualifying tournament and will play in the Euro 2016, which is an achievement of Mykhaylo Fomenko as well.
1/4 finals of the 2006 World Cup
On the way to the Euro 2016 football team of Ukraine managed to overcome the "curse of the playoffs." Beating Slovenians, Ukrainians put an end to the unpleasant tradition to concede one step away from the finals of major tournaments. Prior to that, at different times in the "playoffs" Ukrainians lost to Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Greece and France.