Ukraine: Key Players

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Konoplyanka was born in Ukraine in 1989 and started his career at Dnipro. He played his current club, Sevilla in the Europa League final last year. Considering his consistent play on a high level and expiration of his contract (he refused to sign a new one because Dnipro’s president did not want to sell him), a huge line of top-clubs was trying to acquire him. He went to Sevilla, however, as he did not want to rush going into the biggest clubs and wanted to make the transition smoother.

A 3-time best player of the Ukrainian Premier League, Yevhen Konoplyanka, is one of the fastest players in the world. He is useful not only in counter-attacks but also in constructive attacks as final passing and long shots are two of the many strengths he possesses. I tend not to evaluate players’ abilities and potential from Youtube videos, but I would like to share this video so you can appreciate the magic he does with the ball, as words can’t describe it. He definitely inherited some of Robben’s and Sneijder’s skills, as we can see in the video.



Andryi was born in Leningrad (now, St. Petersburg) in 1989. Shortly after the birth, his parents decided to move back to Ukraine. He started his professional career at Dynamo Kyiv, and its president, Surkis, wants to keep Andryi for at least another year, but Andryi has already expressed his desire to try himself in the British Premier League or La Liga.

Konoplyanka has already moved to Sevilla last year, and Yarmolenko will have to prove what he’s worth at the Euro (if he wants to play for a big club). Thus, we can expect a hard work and tremendous effort from the Ukrainian talent. If he manages to collect his thoughts and set his priorities right, he can reserve the right attacking midfielder spot in the symbolic team of Euro 2016. He has also scored two important goals in the two games against Slovenia to help his team qualify for the Euro. His and Konoplyanka’s styles are similar in a way that both tend to break into the middle and either shoot or pass from there. Also, similar to Robben, opponents know where he’s going to move but cannot do anything about it.

As in Konoplyanka’s case, I would like to share a video with his skills.

How to cite this page: “Ukraine: Key Players”, Written by Alikhan Mukhamedi(2016). European Cup 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on (date)). 

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