Chelsea looks to Shevchenko for goals

Chelsea is desperate to win the Champions League, and Andriy Shevchenko could be the answer.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Chelsea is desperate to win the Champions League, and Andriy Shevchenko could be the answer. The back-to-back English Premier League champions scored only nine goals in eight Champions League games last season. Shevchenko, who was brought in from AC Milan, has scored more than 50 goals in Europe's top club competition, and last season the Ukraine striker scored every goal in Milan's 4-0 victory over Fenerbache. The Blues were eliminated in the last two seasons by the eventual champions - FC Barcelona and Liverpool - and Shevchenko knows much is expected of him now. "There are many great teams, great players and great managers," Shevchenko said. "But this team's objective is to win the Champions League. You can't tell how things are going to turn out, but this team has the quality to make it there." To get him, Chelsea paid AC Milan the highest transfer fee in English soccer history - 30 million pounds. That means Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has spent about 400 million pounds on players since buying the club three seasons ago. "We have to retain the Premiership again and build upon that and that is our target," captain John Terry said. "We are really pushing for the Champions League. We are desperate for it." That's where Shevchenko comes in. "I don't like to put that kind of pressure on any individual," manager Jose Mourinho said. "We know Andriy is a big player and has scored goals all his life. And he will score goals for Chelsea, no doubt about that." Premier League defenders are known to be rough, and Shevchenko, who scored 173 goals for AC Milan in seven seasons, is ready. "Italian defenders are pretty tough, and I was used to that," Shevchenko said. "Football has become more physically demanding but I am prepared for the challenges ahead." Shevchenko was twice the top scorer in Serie A, and the European Player of the Year in 2004. At Chelsea, he is likely to team up with Didier Drogba or Salomon Kalou - both born in the Ivory Coast. Shevchekno's arrival made Argentina striker Hernan Crespo disposable, and he moved to Inter Milan. "Of course, I am looking forward to playing with Shevchenko," Drogba said. "He is one of the best strikers in the world. You know he's welcome in Chelsea. I hope we'll be able to score a lot of goals together." Shevchenko and Michael Ballack, who came from Bayern Munich, are Chelsea's two major off-season signings. Like Ballack, Shevchenko turns 30 in September. (AP)