The Ukrainian national football team are heading to the UEFA European Championship in Germany this summer aiming to boost national morale and give war-weary Ukrainian audiences something to cheer. Head coach Serhiy Rebrov’s team claimed a berth at Euro 2024 thanks to playoff victory over Iceland in March. They will now be hoping to build on the success of Euro 2020, when they reached the quarter finals before losing to England.

Ukraine served as the powerhouse of Soviet football, providing the backbone for the great USSR teams of the 1980s. However, the country has struggled to live up to this legacy following independence and has frequently failed to qualify for major tournaments. Ukraine have only participated in one World Cup, reaching the quarter finals in Germany in 2006 before losing to eventual winners Italy. The country’s European Championship record is slightly better with three appearances in total. Nevertheless, there is no disguising the fact that Ukraine have underachieved over the past three decades at international level.

Ukraine go to Euro 2024 with a number of key players in excellent form at club level. Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin has starred for Real Madrid this season in the Champions League. Meanwhile, flying winger Mykhailo Mudryk has shown flashes of brilliance in the English Premier League since his record EUR 70 million transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk to Chelsea in January 2023. Media attention will likely be focused on striker Artem Dovbyk, who has emerged as one of the stars of the season in Spain’s La Liga with impressive underdogs Girona. Dovbyk will mark his twenty-seventh birthday on 21 June when Ukraine face Slovakia in their second Euro 2024 group stage tie. Ukrainians will hoping he can give them all something to celebrate.

Ukraine at Euro 2024

17 June: Ukraine vs. Romania

21 June: Ukraine vs. Slovakia

26 June: Ukraine vs. Belgium

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