The official website for European football

Ukraine stocking up on luck

Published: Friday 8 June 2012, 15.00CET
Boris Popov explains why Ukraine will have luck on their side at UEFA EURO 2012 and why the traditional Ukrainian zozulica whistle is nothing like the infamous vuvuzela from South Africa 2010.
by Boris Popov
from Kyiv
 
Published: Friday 8 June 2012, 15.00CET

Ukraine stocking up on luck

Boris Popov explains why Ukraine will have luck on their side at UEFA EURO 2012 and why the traditional Ukrainian zozulica whistle is nothing like the infamous vuvuzela from South Africa 2010.

Ukraine ought to have fortune on their side at UEFA EURO 2012 after Andriy Shevchenko was presented with a hefty lucky charm in the form of a zozulica – a traditional clay whistle shaped like a bird – weighing 10kg.

Not usually anything near as heavy, zozulicas are used both as instruments and talismans designed to ward off evil spirits. With a history dating back as far as 7,000 years, they are associated with the Trypillian culture which flourished in what is now modern-day Ukraine.

©Sportsfile

Andriy Shevchenko received the zozulica on behalf of the squad

The question many fans will inevitably be asking is whether the zozulica will have the same effect on UEFA EURO 2012 that the vuvuzela did at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Let me reassure visiting supporters – in contrast to the mass-produced vuvzelas, the zozulica is made from clay in relatively small quantities and mostly as a miniature amulet to wear as a necklace. Even if a few oversize zozulicas make it to the stadium, they are unlikely to drown out the noise generated by the crowd.

Whether you believe in the magical properties of the zozulica or not, one thing is certain: no one in the Ukraine squad is either injured or ill. In fact, coach Oleh Blokhin has promised that his charges are in excellent physical shape, citing as an example their strong finishes in recent friendlies with Austria and Turkey. Instead he feels their psychological condition will prove more telling during the tournament, and while he revealed that some joined up with the squad in low spirits after tough club seasons, he also explained that they are now high on confidence and ready to face Sweden on Monday.

As for who will make his starting XI, that is no easy task to predict. Famously hard to read as a player, the former Ballon d'Or winner has remained just as difficult to second-guess since switching to the dugout.

Last updated: 26/06/12 3.01CET

Related information

Coach profiles
Member associations
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=1804338.html#ukraine+stocking+luck

UEFA.com features

Serbia aim to take final step
  • Serbia aim to take final step
  • Concentration key to Germany progress
  • See the pick of the pictures from matchday three
  • Nemanja Maksimović: Serbia's man of many parts
  • Drogba's greatest UEFA Champions League hits
  • Ireland's semi-final adventure: behind the scenes
  • Israel travails no problem for Peretz
  • Brahimi following in Madjer's Porto footsteps
  • Trenčín winger Simon commanding attention
  • Sheridan taking the heat at APOEL
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.