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Ukraine

Ukraine will make their long-awaited debut in the European Championship finals in 2012, co-hosting the tournament with neighbours Poland.
It will be just their second appearance in a major international tournament, having reached the quarterfinals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
The Yellow-Blues’ coach is Oleh Blokhin, a former ace striker for Ukraine giants Dynamo Kyiv and the now defunct Soviet national team who won the European Player of the Year (Balon d’Or) award in 1975.
It’s his second spell at the helm of the Ukraine national team – he was the man in charge when they reached the last eight of Germany ’06 but resigned in late 2007 after the failure to secure qualification for Euro 2008 in Austria-Switzerland.
Blokhin returned to lead the team in April last year and has been trying to rebuild their ageing squad (35-year-old legend Andriy Shevchenko is still their captain) in order to put up a strong showing on home soil in the European summer.
Recent friendly results have been promising, most notably a 3-3 draw with Germany (one of the outright favourites for Euro 2012) in November 2011.
Ukraine will be banking on strong home support to try and inspire them in tough Group D – the co-hosts face England, a resurgent France and Sweden, who almost always punch above their weight in international tournaments.

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