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Flag of Ukraine
Ukraine was the center of the first Slavic state, Kievan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kievan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kievan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine was able to bring about a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and forced to endure a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two artificial famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 to 8 million more deaths. Although final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. The new government presents its citizens with hope that the country may at last attain true freedom and prosperity.
Map of Ukraine
More about Ukraine:
|Association||Football Federation of Ukraine|
|Coach||Oleg Blokhin 2004-|
|Most caps||Serhiy Rebrov (69)|
|Top scorer||Andriy Shevchenko (28)|
Ukraine 2 - 2 Hungary
(Uzhgorod, Ukraine; 29 April 1992)
Ukraine 4 - 0 Georgia
(Kyiv, Ukraine; 19 August 1998)
Ukraine 4 - 0 Andorra
(Kyiv, Ukraine; 5 June 1999)
Ukraine 4 - 0 Costa Rica
(Kyiv, Ukraine; 28 May 2006)
Croatia 4 - 0 Ukraine
(Zagreb, Croatia; 25 June 1993)
|Appearances||1 (First in 2006)|
The Ukraine national football team is the national football team of Ukraine and is controlled by the Football Federation of Ukraine. After the split of Soviet Union, they played their first match against Hungary on April 29, 1992.
Before that, Ukrainian players played for the USSR national football team, with Dynamo Kyiv players often forming its backbone (1986 World Cup, Euro 88). Some of the best Ukrainian players of the beginning of 1990's (including Andrei Kanchelskis, Viktor Onopko and Oleg Salenko) chose to play for Russia as it was named the official successor of the USSR, while Ukraine didn't participate in major international competitions until 1994. However, they achieved qualification for the 2006 World Cup, the first time for the team.
Despite having one of the best players in the world, Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine failed to qualify for any major championship before 2005, three times failing at the last stage, the playoffs. It lost to Croatia, failing to get to the 1998 World Cup, Slovenia prevented Ukraine from going to Euro 2000, and Germany stopped them prior to the 2002 World Cup.
After an unsuccessful Euro 2004 campaign, Ukraine appointed Oleg Blokhin as the national team's head coach. This would eventually prove to be a good move, as Ukraine went on to qualify for their first-ever FIFA World Cup on September 3, 2005 by drawing their match with Georgia, 1-1, in T'bilisi.