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All you need to know about England’s opponents in the Euros quarter finals

All you need to know about Englands opponents in the


INDEPENDENT WOMAN

Model, dancer and actress Christina Yaremchuk, 27, is the wife of striker Roman.

They have been together since he was 16 and she 18 — Christina says she approached him saying: ‘Boy, you have beautiful eyes’. Married since 2017, they have a toddler son. Roman previously played for Dynamo Kiev and now plays for Gent in Belgium. She has worked as a fitness coach and has spoken out against WAGs who live off their boyfriends.

Model, dancer and actress Christina Yaremchuk, 27, (pictured) is the wife of striker Roman

Model, dancer and actress Christina Yaremchuk, 27, (pictured) is the wife of striker Roman

THE TV STAR

Stunning blonde Vlada, 25, is married to Manchester City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, 24. She is a presenter for a Ukrainian TV football station and has been called the world’s most beautiful WAG. 

The two married in August last year after Oleksandr proposed inside the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, and she is expecting their first child. They have been dubbed Ukraine’s ‘Posh and Becks’.

Stunning blonde Vlada, 25, (pictured) is married to Manchester City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, 24

Stunning blonde Vlada, 25, (pictured) is married to Manchester City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, 24

GREAT COOK 

A mother of three young sons, Margarita Stepanenko has been married for eight years to midfielder Taras, who plays for Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk. A local celebrity, she has her own clothing brand and shares her favourite recipes online.

A mother of three young sons, Margarita Stepanenko has been married for eight years to midfielder Taras, who plays for Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk

A mother of three young sons, Margarita Stepanenko has been married for eight years to midfielder Taras, who plays for Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk

FASHION LOVER

Married to midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi since 2016, Roksana, 27, is settled in Bergamo, Italy, while he plays for its club Atalanta. Their daughter Olivia was born in 2019. She says that she is planning to open a shop in the city.

Roksana, who was raised in Sevastopol — the largest city and a major port in the Crimea, said: ‘Sitting at home is not my style. Since Italy is a country of textiles, it is a sin not to get in touch with fashion and clothing.’

Married to midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi since 2016, Roksana, 27, is settled in Bergamo, Italy, while he plays for its club Atalanta

Married to midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi since 2016, Roksana, 27, is settled in Bergamo, Italy, while he plays for its club Atalanta

THE MODEL

Mother of two Tania is the model wife of defender Yevhenii Makarenko, 30, who plays for the Belgian team Kortrijk on loan from Anderlecht. Their children are Emi, born in 2019, and Alexander, born in 2017. The family lives in Brussels.

Mother of two Tania is the model wife of defender Yevhenii Makarenko, 30, who plays for the Belgian team Kortrijk on loan from Anderlecht

Mother of two Tania is the model wife of defender Yevhenii Makarenko, 30, who plays for the Belgian team Kortrijk on loan from Anderlecht

THE CHARITY WORKER

Inna Yarmolenko married West Ham forward Andriy in 2011 and they have three young sons. She has worked as an interpreter at a charitable foundation and says that in the early years, ‘my earnings helped us a lot’. Andriy now earns £115,000 a week.

Inna Yarmolenko married West Ham forward Andriy in 2011 and they have three young sons

Inna Yarmolenko married West Ham forward Andriy in 2011 and they have three young sons

GERMAN REF WITH A TOUGH REPUTATION

Let’s hope Felix Brych is not a man to bear a grudge — the German will referee tonight’s clash just four days after England knocked his nation out the Euros.

Brych, 45, hails from Bavaria and is one of the best-known referees in world football.

Some of his decisions have been controversial: in the 2018 World Cup he didn’t give Serbia a penalty against Switzerland even though it appeared that striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was being held down by two Swiss players.

Let's hope Felix Brych is not a man to bear a grudge — the German will referee tonight’s clash just four days after England knocked his nation out the Euros

Let’s hope Felix Brych is not a man to bear a grudge — the German will referee tonight’s clash just four days after England knocked his nation out the Euros

UKRAINE KIT’S PATRIOTIC MESSAGE

The yellow and blue of the Ukraine kit may be a sunny ode to the national flag, which represents blue skies above a field of wheat. But this particular kit, unveiled shortly before the tournament began, has fuelled ongoing and bitter rivalries with Moscow.

This is because it includes an outline map with the peninsula of Crimea — annexed by Russia in 2014 but which is still internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

Look closer and you will see the phrase ‘Glory to Ukraine’ on the back of the neck. The shirts did also carry the phrase ‘Glory to the Heroes’ before Russia complained and they were removed.

The slogans, rooted in Ukraine’s anti-Soviet insurgency, are used as official military greetings in Ukraine, and were a rallying cry by protesters who forced out pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Cue complaints to UEFA from angry Russia. The Kremlin’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, wrote: ‘Sport is not a battlefield, rather it is a field for competition. Become sporting heroes and you will have glory. Do it that way and not with nationalist slogans.’

MANAGER WITH THE GOLDEN BOOT

Ukrainian manager Andriy Shevchenko, 44, has much in common with England’s Gareth Southgate — intelligent, always immaculately turned out (in Giorgio Armani suits made by his Italian fashion designer pal) and a lover of the UK.

His brief sojourn as a Chelsea player may not have been an overwhelming success, but Shevchenko won the 2004 Ballon d’Or while at Italian club AC Milan. He still has a house in Surrey, speaks fluent English and Italian and often plays golf with John Terry and Jamie Redknapp.

Curiously, while his English may be good, he is not so confident with Ukrainian — his native tongue is Russian (like nearly 30 per cent of his countrymen).

Married to American former model Kristen Pazik, he has glamour and sporting history at his side — her father was former New York Yankees pitcher Mike Pazik. A mother-of-four, she often shares photographs of her sons — the second of whom, Kristian, is on Chelsea’s books at just 14, and has been touted as a future England star.

Ukrainian manager Andriy Shevchenko, 44, has much in common with England’s Gareth Southgate — intelligent, always immaculately turned out (in Giorgio Armani suits made by his Italian fashion designer pal) and a lover of the UK

Ukrainian manager Andriy Shevchenko, 44, has much in common with England’s Gareth Southgate — intelligent, always immaculately turned out (in Giorgio Armani suits made by his Italian fashion designer pal) and a lover of the UK

DANGER MEN FOR ENGLAND HEROES

The team danger man is well-known to England fans, West Ham United’s Andriy Yarmolenko. And then, of course, there’s the familiar face of team captain (and talisman) Oleksandr Zinchenko, a Manchester City player and team-mate of England’s man of the moment, Raheem Sterling, along with his fellow England men Kyle Walker, John Stones and Phil Foden.

Another star player is Ruslan Malinovskyi. He has an extra incentive to get on the pitch; his wife reportedly bakes him a cake for every goal scored.

MAKE MINE A SHOT OF BURNING WATER

Some of Ukraine’s biggest exports include steel, grain and sunflower seeds.

But possibly not chicken Kiev. Yes, it is a Ukrainian dish named after the capital, but its origins are much debated. One line of thought is that it was invented by a Parisian chef to impress a Russian tsar 200 years ago.

The best-known national foods are borscht, a beetroot soup, and varenyky (dumplings) along with a side dish of salo, better known as lard, which is popular served on bread with borscht. The national drink is a moonshine called Horilka — translated as ‘burning water’ as it can be flavoured with chilli — of which the nation drinks an average 27 pints a year.

However, younger drinkers have moved away from the often home-brewed spirit, and prefer beer. Cheers!

The Neil Diamond classic that’s England’s anthem

It’s the sound that stopped Harry Kane in his tracks as the final whistle blew at Wembley — 40,000 England fans roaring out Neil Diamond’s classic hit Sweet Caroline.

Even Gareth Southgate gave it a name-check: ‘To hear [the fans] at the end I mean, you can’t beat a bit of Sweet Caroline, can you? That’s a belter, really.’

So how did a catchy 1969 U.S. hit overtake Three Lions as the sound of the 2020 Euros? The song’s popularity as a sporting anthem appears to lie across the Atlantic; NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Boston Red Sox baseball team came first, in the mid 1990s. And from there it grew.

Fans of Reading FC started singing the hit back in the club’s record-breaking 2005-6 season. Oxford United have played it after every home victory since 2016, and Arsenal and Aston Villa fans also like to belt it out.

Diamond biographer Jon Bream says: ‘Once you get to the chorus, everyone seems to know the lyrics.’

It’s the sound that stopped Harry Kane in his tracks as the final whistle blew at Wembley — 40,000 England fans roaring out Neil Diamond’s classic hit Sweet Caroline

It’s the sound that stopped Harry Kane in his tracks as the final whistle blew at Wembley — 40,000 England fans roaring out Neil Diamond’s classic hit Sweet Caroline

Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing

But then I know it’s growing strong

Was in the spring

And spring became the summer

Who’d have believed you’d come along

Hands, touching hands

Reaching out, touching me, touching you

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good

I’ve been inclined

To believe they never would

But now I…

…look at the night and it don’t seem so lonely

We filled it up with only two

And when I hurt

Hurting runs off my shoulders

How can I hurt when holding you

One, touching one

Reaching out, touching me, touching you

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good

I’ve been inclined

To believe they never would

Oh no, no

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good

Sweet Caroline

I believe they never could

Sweet Caroline

Good times never seemed so good.

Was that really a bra?

Hero striker Artem Dobvkyk headed his team into the quarter-finals with an extra-time winner against Sweden on Tuesday night. But whipping off his shirt for a post-goal celebration, the 24-year-old revealed something surprising underneath . . . a bra, or what looked suspiciously like one. In fact, think less crop top, more sophisticated piece of technology designed to help players perform at optimum level.

The £200 GPS tracking devices are popular in elite sport and allow coaches and analysts to track performance. Liverpool and Manchester United have been known to use them, as have England.

Eyes peeled for any chest-baring antics from Southgate’s squad.

Hero striker Artem Dobvkyk headed his team into the quarter-finals with an extra-time winner against Sweden on Tuesday night

Hero striker Artem Dobvkyk headed his team into the quarter-finals with an extra-time winner against Sweden on Tuesday night

What their fans chant 

The chants of the opposition may ring louder than usual, thanks to Covid restrictions preventing England supporters travelling to Rome.

So what will they be saying? A rude anti-Putin chant is very popular, as are the Glory To Ukraine, Glory To The Heroes slogans, both team mottos. Another song is associated with the fanatical Ukrainian Ultras (accused by Moscow of being neo-Nazis) and talks of fighting for independence and stabbing Russians.

What else could they sing?

Football’s coming home

Futbol povertayet’sia dodomu

Back of the net

Sitka

Are you blind, ref?

Chy ty slipuy, suddia

Ukraine coach’s life… in London 

By Kamal Sultan for the Daily Mail

Glamour pair: Shevchenko and wife

Glamour pair: Shevchenko and wife

For the past 15 years, Ukraine’s manager Andriy Shevchenko and his supermodel wife Kristen Pazik have called London home.

But Shevchenko, who has played for Chelsea, is looking to crush the hopes of the nation when his team play England tonight.

He is one of Ukraine’s greatest ever players and remains their record goalscorer with 48 goals in 111 caps. But he enjoyed the best part of his illustrious playing career in Italy. For AC Milan, he netted 175 goals in 322 games.

He met his American wife Miss Pazik, 42, at a party in 2002 and they married two years later. The couple have four sons together – Jordan, 16, Kristian, 14, Alexander, 8, and Rider Gabriel, 7.

The family has lived in London since Shevchenko’s move to Chelsea in 2006. But he struggled to find form playing for the west London club and left in 2009.

When he was later asked if the move had been a mistake, Shevchenko, 44, said: ‘Everything is as it should have happened, so it happened. I have been living in London for the past 13 years. My family is there, plus I wanted my children to go to school there.’

His son Kristian, who was born in London, will have a difficult time choosing what team to support tonight as he is part of Chelsea’s academy and could qualify to represent England in the future.

Shevchenko has guided Ukraine to their first European Championship quarter-final. Speaking about tonight’s clash in Rome, he said: ‘We are fully aware how tough this game is going to be. They are incredibly difficult to score against but their strength shouldn’t scare us.’

A game of two (other) halves for this couple

By Lizzie Deane for the Daily Mail

At odds: Sarah and Stefan

At odds: Sarah and Stefan

For England fan Sarah Nutbrown it will be a case of ‘who’s sleeping on the sofa’ after she and her Ukrainian partner watch the quarter-final together.

Miss Nutbrown has been cheering for Ukraine during their Euro 2020 games so far, even wearing boyfriend Stefan Yuri Furgala team’s yellow and blue stripes. 

But the 27-year-old teaching assistant said her England shirt would definitely be back on for tonight’s game, leaving the household divided. ‘The shirts have been washed – they’re ready,’ she said.

‘For both of us, it’ll be brilliant to watch the teams play. But it’ll be who’s sleeping on the sofa on Saturday night.’

Sports coach Mr Yuri Furgala, 23, said he was feeling ‘nervous’ ahead of the game. Tensions between the couple, from Nottingham, may be eased by the presence of Miss Nutbrown’s six-year-old, Rosie.

Miss Nutbrown added while one of them was inevitably going to end up gutted, they would be pleased either way for the winner.



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