He played with Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Kaká in Milan and made a painful confession: "All my friends are dead"The legend of the Italian club confessed and surprised everyone
Andriy Shevchenko knew how to be one of the most outstanding footballers of his time. Multi-champion with Dynamo Kiev, Milan, where he played with Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaká and several other legends, and Chelsea, and winner of the Ballon d'Or in 2004, the Ukrainian never forgot his origins and those events that marked him in his childhood. The explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the fall of the Soviet Union (USSR) were some of the events that left a mark on his personality.
The current coach of the Ukrainian team was born in Dvirkivshchyna, a city located just over 200 kilometers from the nuclear power plant that exploded in 1986. At that time, the former footballer was nine years old and lived closely with the consequences of the tragic event. “Everything seemed normal to me. I was ten years old. I had fun like crazy playing soccer everywhere, doing any sport. They took me to the Dynamo Kiev academy, I felt like I was starting to live a dream. Then reactor 4 exploded and they took us all”, he recounted in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Then he continued: “They closed the schools immediately. Buses came from all over the USSR, loaded up young people between the ages of 6 and 15 and took them away. I found myself alone in the Sea of Azov, in the Black Sea, 1,500 kilometers from home. However, even today I do not feel anguish. I felt like in a movie, I lived that experience as a journey. I was a child".
For Shevchenko, growing up in the USSR "was not bad". He stressed that "Everything was the same for everyone". “There was a lot of school and sports everywhere. You didn't even imagine that there could be a different life to that”, he added.
However, the consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union were felt strongly by the population. Asked about his childhood friends in Kiev, the former footballer was blunt: “They are all dead. Not from radiation, but from alcohol, drugs, weapons. The cracks in the wall of the USSR were more and more evident. Everything was falling apart, the world where we were born was falling apart. My friends, like all my people, stopped believing in anything and got lost". Today, the 2004 Ballon d'Or winner highlights that he was saved by the dedication of his parents and, above all, the love of football.
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