A UEFA Champions League quarter-finalist with FC Shakhtar Donetsk in 2010/11, the season in which the club won both domestic trophies, Yaroslav Rakitskiy also represented Ukraine at the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. The robust centre-back is expected to be a key figure at UEFA EURO 2012.
• Rakitskiy joined Shakhtar's academy in 2003 and came up through the youth ranks to sign professional terms in 2009.
• Made his senior debut for the Pitmen at the beginning of 2009/10 and became a regular in central defence following the sale of Dmytro Chygrynskiy to FC Barcelona.
• Made 24 appearances (22 from the start) that campaign as Shakhtar regained the Ukrainian title from FC Dynamo Kyiv; voted Premier League young player of the season.
• Moved up from Ukraine's U21 side to the senior team in the autumn of 2009, making his debut in a FIFA World Cup qualifying win at home to England and scoring his first goal four days later in 6-0 defeat of Andorra; returned to the U21s and helped them qualify for the 2011 finals in Denmark, where he featured in all three group games.
• Scored his maiden goal for Shakhtar in their first match of the 2010/11 Premier League – a 2-0 defeat of FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih − and opened his UEFA Champions League account in the quarter-final first leg against FC Barcelona later in the campaign; completed a league and cup double with the club in 2011/12.
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