Ukrainian national football team was formed after the Soviet Union collapse in 1992. They have only qualified to one major competition, the 2006 World Cup (excluding Euro 2012 when they hosted) and have always been unlucky. They were ranked 2nd in a World Cup 2012 qualification group with England, and got France as an opponent for the play-off games that same year. Obviously, they lost to the stronger team, but they won the first home game (2:0). Interesting fact, due to the Ukrainian war and the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the Ukrainian Premier League decreased from 16 to 14 teams, as Crimean football clubs became part of Russia. Unfortunately, because of this, few of the best Ukrainian players have left the country (especially from the war area) for safety purposes. Seleznev and Zinchenko are among these players, but surprisingly enough, they moved to play to Russia.
Road to Qualification
Ukraine got a relatively easy qualification group with Spain being the hardest opponent. The remaining teams were on a lower level: Slovakia, Belarus, Luxemburg and Macedonia. Nonetheless, Ukraine surprised itself and football fans by getting 3rd allowing Slovakia to automatically qualify for the Euro. Ukraine, in turn, had to play two extra games against a 3rd team of Group E, Slovenia. Football fans will remember these games for the excessive aggression of Slovenian players (Wilson, 1). It did not help the Slovenian side as the Ukrainians had to bring the promotion to the people who died at war; they did so for the country and their families.
How to cite this page: “Ukraine: History”, Written by Alikhan Mukhamedi(2016). European Cup 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/tournament-guides/european-cup-2016-guide/underrated-teams-of-euro-2016/ukraine/ukraine-history/ (accessed on (date)).