Our series focusing on big moments in EURO history and the people involved reaches 2012, when Andriy Shevchenko turned back the clock to outshine Zlatan Ibrahimović.
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Zlatan Ibrahimović threatened to spoil the party for the co-hosts when he broke the deadlock early in the second half of Ukraine's UEFA EURO 2012 opener in Kyiv. But Andriy Shevchenko had other ideas. Aged 35, he turned back the clock in his home town and for ten minutes was every bit the deadly striker of old. Two headers earned a 2-1 win and the acclaim of a nation.
1 Andriy Shevchenko
Ukraine's record scorer with 48 goals in 111 games, the prolific Shevchenko made his name at Dynamo Kyiv, claiming five league titles and three domestic cups. In 1999 he joined AC Milan, where a haul of 173 goals anointed him as the second-highest marksman in Rossoneri history; he also converted the clinching penalty in the 2003 UEFA Champions League final. The 2004 Ballon d'Or victor, he returned to Dynamo after a stint at Chelsea before retiring in 2012 to stand for parliament. Now a member of Ukraine's coaching staff.
2 Zlatan Ibrahimović
Perhaps Sweden's greatest ever player, Ibrahimović has scooped the country's footballer of the year prize ten times (no one else has won more than twice). Another annual tradition is capturing league titles: since emerging at home-town club Malmö, he has picked up 13, for Ajax, Juventus, Milan, Barcelona, Internazionale Milano and, since 2012, Paris Saint-Germain. Famed for finding the net audaciously and abundantly, the striker known simply as Zlatan is the record scorer for Sweden and PSG.
3 Olof Mellberg
The beating heart of Sweden's defence until his international retirement in the wake of UEFA EURO 2012. Mellberg was a fierce competitor whose attitude was appreciated at clubs such as Real Racing Club, Aston Villa, Juventus and Olympiacos. He had started out with Degerfor before moving to AIK, immediately winning the Swedish championship. The centre-back appeared 117 times for his country and is now coach of second-tier Brommapojkarna.
4 Kim Källström
A midfielder whose precise left foot has been prominent in Swedish football for 15 years. Källström secured back-to-back league titles with Djurgården before heading abroad aged 21 – and has not been back since. Most synonymous with a six-year stay at Lyon, where he won Ligue 1 twice, he currently plays for Swiss outfit Grasshoppers. One of four Swedes to earn over 125 caps, Källström's trademark free-kick set up the victory over the Netherlands that clinched UEFA EURO 2012 qualification.
5 Mikael Lustig
An attacking full-back likely to be found as near to the opposition goal as his own, Lustig landed two Norwegian titles with Rosenborg before departing in 2012 for Celtic, where he has lifted the championship every season. He scored in vain from the spot as hosts Sweden lost on penalties to England in the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship semis and has been a regular with the seniors ever since.
6 Andreas Isaksson
Born the same day as Ibrahimović, Isaksson too has been a pillar of the Sweden team for many years. The goalkeeper made his top-flight bow aged 17 for Trelleborg, with his quick reflexes and wide reach immediately evident. He soon switched to Juventus but could not break into the side and duly returned to Sweden and Djurgården, where he collected two league titles. Now in Turkey at Kasımpaşa, Isaksson made his Sweden debut in 2002 and passed the 125-cap mark in October.
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