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PARIS - Andriy Shevchenko took time to thank his team-mates after being named European Footballer of the Year: 'I could never have made it without the help of my team-mates. Milan have won a lot in these years and I have been decisive in important games. I could not have managed to be so if it wasn’t for my team-mates, so I would like to thank them and the club. In my first year, I was top scorer in the league, but Milan finished third. There have been some difficult moments, but I have never changed and I always wanted to write my name in the history books of this club. I am very emotional and want to dedicate this award to my country, my family and everyone in Ukraine that has had some difficult moments. Hopefully, this award will put a smile on their face. I think it all started at Manchester ... that’s how I arrived at this point.’
Andriy became the third Ukrainian to win the Golden Ball and he added: 'I am proud about this. I am happy to make my contribution and change the opinion on players from the east, that was my objective. This

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Shev completes Golden dream Tuesday 14 December, 2004


Andriy Shevchenko admits he’s realised a dream by becoming the European Footballer of the Year.

"When I first started to kick a ball around, I always wanted to become a great player and win something prestigious like the Golden Ball. I’m delighted," he stated.

The Milan man was confirmed as this year’s Golden Ball winner after topping the poll ahead of the Barca pair of Deco and Ronaldinho.

"I want this victory to be used as a message for all children who love this sport," he continued. "They must understand that what has happened to me could happen to them.

"Today I feel like a much more concrete player, one who has matured but more importantly someone who has learnt how to win."

The Ukrainian striker was also keen to thank the various Coaches he’s worked with during his time in Serie A.

"The first was Alberto Zaccheroni who taught me about the Italian game. He helped me a lot at the beginning," explained the 28-year-old.

"Then there was Cesare Maldini and Fatih Terim. But it was with Carlo Ancelotti that I became a winner.

"He’s different to all of the others because he transmits tranquillity. He’s someone that listens and a man who is very approachable."

Shevchenko was brought to Milan by President Silvio Berlusconi, who last night paid tribute to the international.

"I admire his qualities during a game and his professionalism in training," stated the Rossoneri owner.

"Shevchenko is a great champion and he’s won many trophies with us. But Andriy is also a great man.

"His simplicity is an example to all of his teammates and all of the Milan fans."

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