June 2, 2012

UEFA Euro 2012, hosted by Poland and Ukraine – map of qualified national teams and venues / Plus a chart of the statistics of the nations involved (major tournament records, populations, and GDP data) / Plus photos of the host cities and venues.

Filed under: Poland,UEFA Euro 2012,Ukraine — admin @ 9:02 pm
    Click on image below to see Euro 2012 map with all 16 teams

UEFA Euro 2012 map

    Click on image below to see Euro 2012 chart with all 16 teams’ data

Chart with teams’ & nations’ data

From, ‘Euro 2012 team guides – Get the lowdown on the 16 teams, all the top players and every manager ahead of Euro 2012‘.

The following link I highly recommend checking out. From, from 2 December 2011, ‘Euro 2012 venue guide: The eight stadiums in Poland and Ukraine‘.

Notes on nations’ data…
The GDP numbers and nation-rankings are from the CIA World Factbook, via this page at, ‘List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita‘. Excerpt from that page’s intro…’GDP dollar estimates here are derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations. Such calculations are prepared by various organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. As estimates and assumptions have to be made, the results produced by different organizations for the same country tend to differ, sometimes substantially. PPP figures are estimates rather than hard facts, and should be used with caution.’

Population numbers and nation-rankings are from this list at ‘List of countries by population‘. As paragraph 3 there says, ‘Figures used in this chart are based on the most recent estimate or projection by the national census authority where available and usually rounded off. Where national data is not available, figures are based on the 2010 estimate by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.’

    The UEFA Euro 2012 Tournament, hosted by Poland and Ukraine

Photos of the 8 host-cities in the illustrations below from [note: there a lots of other photos of the cities in the 8 nice galleries at this link].

National Stadium, Warsaw. Opened 2012. Capacity 58,145. 5 matches in UEFA Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group A matches, a Quarter-finals match, and a Semi-finals match.
Photo of Warsaw from Photo of National Stadium (Warsaw) by Vincent A. at, here; and at the following,

PGE Arena. Opened 2011. Capacity 43,615. 4 matches in UEFA Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group C matches, and a Quarter-final match.
Photo of Gdansk from Photo of PGE Arena Gdańsk by Piotr Krajewski at and at, here.

Poznań -
City Stadium (Poznań). Opened 1980, last renovated in 2010. Capacity 41,609. 3 matches in UEFA Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group C matches.
Photo of Poznań from Photo of City Stadium (Poznań) from via

Wrocław -
Stadion Miejski (Wrocław). Opened 2011. Capacity 42,771. 3 matches in UEFA Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group A matches.
Photo of Wrocław from Photo of Stadion Miejski by Łukasz Czyżykowski at Wroclaw.

Olimpiysky National Sports Complex. Opened 1923, expanded in 1966, and 1978; last renovated in 2011. Capacity 70,050. 5 matches in Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group D matches, a Quarter-finals match, and the Final (on 1 July, 2012).
Photo of Kyiv from of Olimpiysky National Sports Complex from

Donetsk -
Donbass Arena. Opened 2009. Capacity 52,598. 5 matches in UEFA Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group D matches, a Quarter-finals, and a Semi-finals match.
Photo of Donetsk from Photo of Donbass arena by Elparadiso19 at Arena.

Metalist Stadium. Opened 1926, last renovated in 2009. Capacity 38,500. 3 matches in Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group B matches.
Photo of Kharkiv from Photo of Metalist Stadium by Getty Images via

Lviv -
Arena Lviv. Opened 2011. Capacity 34,915. 3 matches in UEFA Euros 2012 will be played here: 3 Group B matches.
Photo of Lviv from Photo of Arena Lviv from via, Lviv Arena.


Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘UEFA Euro 2012‘.

Base map of Europe from .
Photos of jerseys from . Photo of Poland jersey from
Kit illustrarions from

Thanks to for the photo of the Poland home 2012-13 jersey.

Thanks to for the photo of the most of the jerseys on the map pages.

Thanks to for the flag of Ukraine, which has the correct shade of pale blue for the top band in the Ukrainian flag, unlike many other media sources, which have the top band of the Ukrainian flag royal blue instead of a very light blue.

January 10, 2011

2010-11 UEFA Champions League, Knockout Phase – Round of 16, with match-ups.

Filed under: Denmark,Football Stadia,UEFA Champions League,Ukraine — admin @ 6:14 pm

2010-11 UEFA CL, Round of 16 map

The UEFA Champions League 2010-11 Knockout Phase, Round of 16 gets underway on 15th and 16th February, with four matches; then resumes a week later for the other four 1st Leg matches. 2nd Leg matches are set for 8th and 9th / 15th and 16th March. If you want to see the 8 match-ups, with club profile boxes and 2 stadia photos for each club, scroll down a bit and click on the 2 dark blue boxes near the end of this post.

Teams that play at home for the 2nd Leg Leg were seeded higher for for the draw by winning their groups in the Group Stage. The biggest surprise in that category are Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk, who finished ahead of Arsenal in their group. This is the first time Shakhtar Donetsk have made it to the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Shakhtar come from the heavily industrialized Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, from the city of Donetsk, which is a grim city built on coal mining and heavy industry, offering little in the way of the things considered to be tourist attractions. In fact, enlarging the amount of total hotel rooms in the city is one of the most pressing issues facing Donetsk when the city hosts some of the matches for UEFA Euro 2012 (which Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland in June 2012). Shakhtar Donetsk are owned by Ukraine’s wealthiest citizen, Rinat Ahkmetov, who began his rise as an oligarch in the banking sector in Donetsk in the first half of the 1990s, when newly independent Ukraine was freeing itself from the grip of Russian imperialism and setting up a system of private enterprise. Akhmetov is an ethnic Tatar/ Ukraine-born son of a Donbass coal miner, and is 42 years old. In 2000, Akhmetov founded Systems Capital Management (SCM Holdings), which has stakes in metals, coal mining, power generation, banking, insurance, real estate, telecommunications, and media. Assets of the company, 100% owned by Akhmetov, have been recently disclosed as $18 billion { Financial Indicators [to 2009]‘. Akhmetov has devoted considerable sums in turning Shakhtar Donetsk from a small cup-specialist club with no national titles to a force in Ukraine and now Europe. Their futuristic new Donbass Arena (cap. 51,504) is testament to this. Shakhtar are pulling in around 33,000 per game this season in domestic home league matches, and are running away with the Ukrainian Premier League title again (they have won 4 of the last 6 Ukrainian titles). Akhmetov has undertaken this by making sure players he lured to eastern Ukraine are treated like royalty – it is common knowledge these days among football players that Shakhtar Donetsk’s facilities and infrastructure are on par with the most elite clubs in Western Europe. Shakhtar Donetsk are managed by the Romanian Mircea Lucescu, who has also coached in Turkey (winning titles for Galatasaray in 2002, and Besiktas in 2003), and in Italy (with Internazionale in 1998-99). Lucescu has managed Shakhtar since 2004. For the past few seasons, Shakhtar has been fielding around 3 to 5 Brazilians in their starting lineups in most matches. By way of example, when Shakhtar Donetsk beat Werder Bremen in Istanbul to win the 2008-09 UEFA Cup title, Shakhtar started 5 Brazilians (including goal scorers Luz Adriano and Jadson), 3 Ukrainians, 1 Croat (captain and DF Dario Srna), 1 Romanian (DF Razvan Rat), and 1 Pole (Mariusz Lewandowski). Luz Adriano, Jadson, Srna, and Rat still figure prominently in Shakhtar’s current configuration.

The crucial match which propelled Shakhtar Donetsk to the Round of 16 this season was the 3 November, 2010 match in Ukraine which saw a 2-1 defeat of Arsenal in the Donbass Arena before 51,153. This had come two weeks after Arsenal had humiliated Shakhtar by a 5-1 score at the Emirates Stadium in North London. In the 3 November match, goals for Shakhtar were scored by western Ukraine-born DF Dmitro Chygrynskiy in the 28th minute (following a 10th minute Arsenal goal by Theo Walcott), and a 58th minute winner by former Arsenal player, the Croatian international/Brazilian-born Eduardo, who looks to be recovered from his devastating leg injury in early 2008. From, 3 Nov. 2010, ‘Eduardo strike sinks former club Arsenal’.
Shakhtar Donetsk have drawn AS Roma for the Round of 16. They will meet for the 1st Leg on 16 February at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. 2nd Leg is for 8 March in Donetsk.

Of the 16 clubs still alive in the 2010-11 Champions League, the biggest surprise overall is the qualification of FC Copenhagen (in Danish, FC Kobenhavn). This is the first appearance in the Round of 16 for a club from Denmark. Like quite a few other football clubs in Denmark in recent history, FC Copenhagen was the result of a merger. In this case, it was between two historically successful but stagnating clubs from the country’s capital city, KB and B 1903. The two clubs had not won a Danish title between them for 12 years running when they merged; and immediately after the merger FC Copenhagen won the 1993 Danish title. KB (Kjobenhavns Boldklub) won 15 Danish titles, including the first in 1913, and most recently in 1980. B 1903 (Boldklubben 1903) won 7 national titles, their last in 1976. FC Copenhagen are the highest-drawing Danish club, and can draw in the 20,000 per game range (their peak has been 23.7 K in 2006-07).The club’s home is Parken, which is also the primary venue for the Denmark national football team. FC Copenhagen are coached by the Norwegian Stale Solbakken, who has been at the helm since 2006. Their goal scoring threats are Porto Alegre, Brazil-born FW César Santin, Senegalese FW Dame N’Doye, and Danish winger/supporting striker and former Ajax/Chelsea/Birmingham City/Atlético Madrid/VfB Stuttgart player Jesper Gronkjaer (age 33).


FC Copenhagen have drawn Chelsea for the Round of 16, with the 1st Leg on 22 February in Copenhagen, and the 2nd Leg on 16 March in West London. Judging by Chelsea’s recent form, Copenhagen can be seen as having a fighting chance of advancing. After all, FC Copenhagen beat Manchester United in the CL Group Stage in 2006-07, and Chelsea can’t beat bottom-of-the-table clubs like Wolverhampton Wanderers these days.

Last season I posted a map of this round of the competition in December, 2009, right after the draw was held. I decided to hold off a little this season. The CL Knockout Phase still will not be starting for 36 days, but on the Sunday (13 Feb.) before the matches begin on 15 and 16 February, I will re-post the 3 gifs here (the map and the 2 match-ups pages), along with a map of the 2010-11 UEFA Europa League Round of 32 (which will begin on Thursday, 17 February).

From Backpage, from 6 January, ‘Champions League – Reason to be excited‘, by Ger McCarthey.

The following gif shows the 8 clubs involved in the first two match days of the 2010-11 Champions League Round of 16, on 15 and 16 February…
AC Milan v. Tottenham Hotspur
Valencia v. Schalke 04
Arsenal v. Barcelona
AS Roma v. Shakhtar Donetsk
Click on box below…

The next gif shows the 8 clubs involved in the second set of match days, on 22 and 23 February…
Lyon v. Real Madrid
FC Copenhagen v. Chelsea
Internazionale v. Bayern Munich
Marseille v. Manchester United
Click on box below…
Photo Credits -
AC Milan/San Siro…, here., here.

Tottenham/White Hart Lane…Jazza5 at, here. Daily, here.

Valencia/Mestella…A Life In, here. Tlfosi, here.

Schalke 04/Veltins-Arena…VioletaS_gr at, here., here.

Arsenal/Emirates Stadium…,/Projects, ‘Emirates stadium – Scope of Work [6-photo slideshow]‘, here., here.

Barcelona/Camp Nou…kammourewa at, here. Bird’s Eye satellite view, here.

AS Roma/Stadio Olimpico…’s Eye satellite view, here., here.

Shakhtar Donetsk/Donbass Arena…Elparadiso19 at (link is to a Donbass Arena gallery, here)., 2010 Shakhtar gallery, here.

Lyon/Stade de Gerland… Bird’s Eye satellite view, here., here.

Real Madrid/Bernebéu…FCB, here. Real Madrid Videos, here.

FC Copenhagen/Parken…Virtual, here., here.

Chelsea/Stamford Bridge…cyberdees at, here. Eco Compact, here.

Internazionale/San Siro… Siro (gallery, 30 photos), here. oscar federico bodini at, ‘Curva (stadia)/Italy‘.

Bayern Munich/Allianz Arena…Karl Leidorf at, here. Maximillian Dörrbecker (Chumwa), at, here.

Marseille/Stade Vélodrome… fredGLLS at, here.

Manchester United/Old Trafford…, ‘Nervous Glazers tell ManUtd players not to wear Green and Gold!’. , (Manchester United/Old Trafford photo).

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘2010-11 UEFA Champions League‘.
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance figures from 2009-10, and for Shakhtar Donetsk current attendance figures. Thanks to ESPN Soccernet for most of the current attendance figures. Thanks to for FC Copenhagen current attendance figures {Danish Super Liga at}

July 9, 2010

Ukraine: Ukrainian Premier League, 2010-11 season

Filed under: Ukraine — admin @ 10:27 am


Ukraine is currently ranked #7 by UEFA for leagues in Europe {see this, UEFA League coefficient}.
The 20th season of the Ukrainian Premier League begins the weekend of 9th to 11th July, 2010. Ukrainiian Premier League results, fixtures, table, at, {here}.
Reigning champions are Shakhar Donetsk, who begin their first full season with their giant new futuristic stadium.
Ukrainian Cup holders are the surprise club Tavriya Simferopol. Tavriya was aided by a quarterfinal draw which pitted Ukraine’s Big 2 (Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk). Shakhtar went on to win that match, but lost in the semifinals to overachieving cross-city rivals Metalurh Donetsk. In the final on 16th May, 2010, in Kharkiv’s Metalist Stadium before 21,000, Tavriya Simferopol beat Metalurh Donetsk 3-2 in AET, with the winning goal by Nigerian striker Lucky Idahor in the 97th minute.
Just how unlikely Tavriya’s successful Cup run was can be seen in the results of the 2010 Ukrainian Super Cup played last weekend…Shakhtar demolished Tavriya 7-1.

Tavriya Simferopol are from Simferopol, which is the capital of Crimea, and has a population of around 340,000 {2006 figure}. Crimea, the southern-most region of Ukraine, is an autonomous republic within the nation of Ukraine. Historically part of the Russian empire since the 18th century, the Crimean peninsula was “given” to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954 in a moment of hubris by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The powers that be in the Kremlin did this as an act of “brotherhood” towards Ukraine, never thinking that within 38 years, Ukraine would be independent. Especially since the Black Sea Fleet was, and still is, based in the Crimea. Ukraine has been leasing the ports to the Russians, and a partition of the fleet has been planned, but earlier this year Ukrainian President Yanukovitch has given the Russian navy in Crimea permission to stay until 2042. This has caused an uproar in Ukraine, with opposition leaders insisting Yanukovitch has violated the constitution. The justification Yanukovitch has for this lease extension is that that the new agreement provides for Russia to sell it’s natural gas to Ukraine at a significantly reduced price (about 33% lower), thus helping to end the natural gas crisis that has plagued Ukraine. But many see this as the first step in Russia’s goal to carve up Ukraine and re-take lands which hard-line pro-Russian nationalists feel belong to Russia. It must be pointed out that since Turkey joined NATO in 1955, thus putting NATO and hence the West in control of the vital Bosporus Strait, the Black Sea Fleet’s strategic importance has been diminished. But this is an issue of national sovereignity, and Yanukovitch’s pro-Moscow leanings have gone too far in the eyes of many Ukrainians, {see this article from, from 28 April 2010, by Maria Starozhitskaya, ‘Russia’s fleet in Crimea: what’s the real deal?}

The warm climate of the Crimean peninsula has made it the vacation spot of Russians for generations now, and it’s heavy Russian presence remains, despite the fact that the sky blue and yellow flag of Ukraine flies there. Adding to that mix in the Crimea in recent years are scores of Tatars (ethnic Turks), over 250,000 of whom have been repatriated to the Crimea following the demise of the Soviet Union {see this ‘Crimean Tatars after Ukrainian independance’, from}.
The map and chart shows the 16 clubs in the 2010-11 Ukrainian Premier League season. At the top of the map page, club crests are shown, sized to reflect 2009-10 domestic league average attendances. Attendance was up 18.1% last season in the Ukrainian Premier League. Here are the clubs with attendance increases in 2009-10 compared to 2008-09…
Shakhtar Donetsk: +11,934 per game (27,321 per game in 2009-10).
Metalist Kharkiv: +11,220 per game (26,300 per game in 2009-10).
Karpaty Lviv: + 4,061 per game (14,138 per game in 2009-10).
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk: +3,839 per game (15,767 per game in 2009-10).
Obolon Kyiv: +3,029 per game (4,267 per game in 2009-10).
Tavriya Simferopol: +2,444 (7,917 per game in 2009-10).
Dynamo Kyiv: +2,087 per game (9,794 per game in 2009-10).
Arsenal Kyiv: +836 per game (2,326 per game in 2009-10).

Overall, the Ukrainian Premier League increased it’s average attendances +1,369 per game (to 8,943 per game in 2009-10, versus 7,574 per game in 2008-09).

Attendances will probably increase again, with enthusiasm for the 2012 Euro competition which will be co-hosted with Poland, plus the interest in Shahktar’s new stadium, plus the fact that one of the two promoted clubs is a club that led the second division in attendance last season, Volyn Lutsk. The other promoted club will not help increase attendances overall, because the club plays in a 3,500 venue…that is Ukrainian Premier League newcomers PFC Sevastopol, who hail from Sevastopol, on the south-western tip of the Crimean peninsula. Sevastopol was formerly the home of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, and is now home to a Ukrainian naval base and facilities leased by the Russian Navy and used as the headquarters of both the Ukrainian Naval Forces and the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Sevastopol has a population of around 379,000 {2007 figure}.

PFC Sevastopol are less than a decade old, and the crumbling little stadium they call home sits in stark contrast to the opulent facilities that Shakhtar Donetsk now play in…
The Haves and the Have-nots, Ukrainian version…

When looking at the issues facing pro football these days, competitive imbalance is at the top of the list, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more glaring example of the all-too-prevalent problem of the haves and the have-nots than in Ukraine. The Big 2 of Ukraine, Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk, have won 18 of the 19 Ukrainian titles, with the exception being Tavriya Simferopol winning the first, hastily assembled season (which was basically a half-season that took place in 1992, less than a year after the fall of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Soviet Top League). After that first truncated season, Dynamo Kyiv won 9 straight titles (from 1993 to 2001). Shakhtar Donetsk began their rise to the top when billionaire oligarch Rinat Akhmetov took over ownership of the club in 1996. At that point in time, Shakhtar was considered just a Cup specialist club, with 4 Soviet Cups and then 2 Ukrainian Cups in their trophy cabinet. Shakhtar finally won the league title in 2002, and since then, the club from the heavily industrialized Donbass region of eastern Ukraine has turned the Ukrainian Premier League into a 2-team race. The odd thing with Ukraine is that one of the Big 2, Dynamo Kyiv, does not draw well at all for it’s domestic matches, pulling in less than 10,000 per game…the jaded Dynamo Kyiv fan base only really shows up in force for UEFA Champions League matches. Dynamo Kyiv averaged 22,589 for their 3 CL Group Stage home matches last season, but only 9,794 per game for league games.

A hopeful sign of perhaps an erosion of the Big 2′s stranglehold on the Ukrainian game can be seen in the remarkable growth of the Metalist Kharkiv fan base. Metalist has finished in 3rd place for three straight seasons, and this club from Ukraine’s second-largest city draws well over 20,000 per game these days. When Metalist Kharkiv won promotion back to the top flight in 2004, they were drawing around 8,000 per game. Last season they drew 26,300 per game. Metalist Kharkiv’s coach, the Lviv-born Myron Markevych, now has two jobs, as he was appointed coach of the re-building Ukraine national football team earlier this year. For the sake of the future of Ukrainian football, I hope Myron Markevych can juggle the two roles effectively.
List of largest cities in Ukraine, Cities in Ukraine (by population) {}.
Here is an article from The Global site, on Karpaty Lviv’s surprise win in the 1969 Soviet Cup final. Karparty Lviv were the only second division club to ever win the Soviet Cup…’Ukrainian will, Carpathian pride and the summer of ’69‘, by Igor Khrestin (21 August, 2009).
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, Uktainian Premier League.
Thanks to E-F-S site, for attendance figures,
Thanks to PFC Sevastopol official site, for the photo, Thanks to Metalist Kharkiv official site, Metalist Stadium photos.

February 28, 2009

Ukrainian Premier League Clubs, 2008-’09 Season: Club Profiles.

Filed under: Ukraine — admin @ 6:43 pm


For the other two pages of profiles of Ukrainian Football Clubs , click on the following…



Thanks to the Ukrainian Soccer History site {click here}.      Thanks to the Switch Image Project site {click here}, for the Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk kits.    Thanks to World Soccer magazine {click here}.

February 25, 2009

2008-’09 Ukrainian Premier League, attendance map at the winter break.

Filed under: Ukraine — admin @ 6:12 pm


The Ukrainian Premier League is back from it’s long winter break,  with fixtures for the 18th week to be played between 27th February and 4th March.   The most noteworthy fixture is the match next Wednesday that sees league leaders Dynamo Kyiv visit Metalist Kharkiv,  who are in second place.

Meanwhile, three Ukrainian clubs are still alive in the 2008-’09 UEFA Cup…the Big 2 (Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk) and Metalist Kharkiv.

Ukrainian Premier League table {click here (Soccerway site)}.


On the map I have shown the 18 clubs in the 08/09 Ukrainian Premier League,  with their logos sized to reflect their current average attendance.  On the right are the 18 clubs, with their founding dates;  their major titles (including USSR titles won before the fall of the Soviet Union,  in 1991);  and their total seasons spent in the Ukrainian Premier League [this is the league's 18th season]. 

Dynamo Kyiv seem to have put behind them the disorganization of their last season,  and have a 6 point lead on Metalist Kharkiv,  and more importantly for them,  a 12 point lead on their nemesis,  Shakhtar Donetsk.  Dynamo Kyiv’s top scorer is Ismaël Bangoura,  from the West African Republic of Guinea,  who leads the league with 12 goals.  Ukrainian international Artem Milevsky (who was born in Mazyr, Belarus) has 8 goals.  Here is an article on Dynamo Kyiv’s resurgence under former Lokomotiv Moscow and Dynamo Moscow manager Yuri Semin  {see this,  by Jonathan Wilson at the Guradian UK}.

Metalist Kharkiv have flown under the radar for years,  building a respectable academy and a loyal and somewhat sizeable fan base (they currently draw 14,150 per game).  But Metalist have won only one title,  the 1988 USSR Cup.   Their leading scorer is the Brazilian Jackson Coelho,  with 10 goals.   Here is their club profile on the Ukrainian site {click here}.  Their manager is Myron Markevych,  who left his hometown club Karpaty Lviv to take over at Metalist in 2005.  

Metalist Kharkiv are owned by industrialist Oleksandr Yaroslavsky,  who is bucking the current league trend of belt-tightening in the wake of the global financial crisis,  by vowing to spend to improve the squad.  This after Metalist defeated Benfica,  Galatasaray,  and Olympiacos in the UEFA Cup group stage.  Currently,  in the final phase of the UEFA Cup,  Metalist Kharkiv lead Sampdoria 1-0 (with the return leg Thursday the 26th at home in Ukraine).  The goal in Genoa was scored on a header by midfielder Denys Oliynyk {see this match report, from the site}.  Oliynik was picked up from Dynamo Kyiv during the winter break,  so the owner’s promise to bring in talent has already reaped dividends.  Here is an interview with Oliynyk from…{click here},  from 24th February.

Defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk are recovering from a poor league start,  as well as a nightmare scenario in the Champions League last September {see this, by David Hytner at the Guardian UK}.  Shakhtar are in real jeopardy of losing their accustomed place in the Champions League next fall,  as they sit 6 points off the coveted second-place-in-league/ Champions League 3rd round qualifier spot.  In the UEFA Cup,  Shakhtar have a 2-0 lead on Tottenham, with the second leg on Thursday in London.

With the aggregate at 1-1 (and the away goals rule in effect),  Dynamo Kyiv must get a winning result (or a draw result higher than 1-1) on Thursday,  to advance in the UEFA Cup,  when they go to Spain to play their second leg,  versus Valencia.

UEFA site {click here (set at UEFA Cup fixtures and results)}.

Below,  the current leading scorers in the Ukrainian Premier League.


Thanks to World Soccer magazine for the article ‘Ukraine credit crunch bites deep’, by Oleg Zadernovsky,  from the February 2009 issue.    Thanks to the great site called UkrSoccerHistory.Com  {click here (set at Dynamo Kyiv page)}.  Thanks to ,  a good site for Ukrainian football news and results.   Thanks to the contributors to the pages on Ukrainian football clubs at Wikipedia {click here, for the page on the Ukrainian Premier League’s 2008-’09 season}.

January 31, 2008

Ukrainian Premier League, 2007-’08 Season: Attendance Map at the winter break.

Filed under: Ukraine — admin @ 8:10 am


The Ukrainian Premier League ends it’s winter break on the weekend of March 2 and 3.   This map shows the average attendances for the first part of the 2007-’08 season (7 to 10 home matches).   There is also a smaller map, showing the four Ukrainian clubs that qualified for the 2007-’08 Champions League (Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk), and the 2007-’08 UEFA Cup (Metalist Kharkiv and Dnipro).  I have also added the top 12 drawing clubs in the Ukrainian Persha Liha (the second division).


Dnipro are surprise leaders at the winter break, with a 2 point lead over Shakhtar Donetsk, and four points ahead of reigning champions Dynamo Kyiv for the crucial second Champions League qualifier spot.   Dnipro host Dynamo Kyiv on Sunday, March 3.  It is basically one of the biggest games in the history of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.  Because if the club can beat the giants of Ukrainian football (Dynamo), for the second time this season, they will very likely hold on to the second place spot that will allow them the chance at the Champions League.  It would be good for Ukrainian football for another club to be at the top.  And it would be appropriate for Dnipro to become the third force in Ukraine, as they are the only club outside the big 2 (of Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk) that has lately been supplying players to the national team.  

 **{See this article, from The Guardian website, by Jonathan Wilson,  about Dnipro, and their quest to break the big 2 duopoly in Ukraine.}    

**{Click here, for the Ukrainian Premier League Table.} 

Ukraine is currently ranked # 12 for European competitions by UEFA.  Winner and second place in the Premier League make it to the 3rd round qualifiers for the Champions League.  3rd and 4th place qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Thanks to the Colours Of Football website, for the kits (

October 3, 2007

Ukrainian football clubs (hand-drawn map circa 2003).

Filed under: Hand Drawn Maps,Ukraine — admin @ 9:27 pm


    In January 2004, I was all “mapped out” in terms of US sports.  My brother was into the Premier League (an Arsenal fan), and I decided to try doing a map of English football.  Suffice to say I was hooked.  I swiftly turned into a Portsmouth FC fan (I have a weakness for colorful yet struggling teams), and began following international football. While I was doing research on the internet, I stumbled across a site about Ukrainian football  (“”).  As a Ukrainian- American, I felt duty-bound to do a map on Ukraine as well.  In retrospect, there’s a few things I’d do different today (like make Shakhtar’s crest bigger), but I’m pretty happy with the result.   Especially since I decided to put Zorya Luhansk on the map, even though they were in the second division at the time.  Zorya made it back into the top flight last season.  They were one of only 3 Ukrainian clubs to ever have won the USSR first division title, in 1972.  Plus I love the Bolshevik poster-art quality of their charging-train-engine logo (sadly no longer in use).  Other retro logos I used were with Metalist Kharkiv. Chornomorets Odesa, and Tavriya Simferopol. 

   The biggest USSR title winner was from Ukraine: Dynamo Kyiv.  This club from the capital won it 13 times, the first in 1960, and the last in 1990.  Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, from central Ukraine, won the USSR league twice, both late in the Soviet era, in 1987 and 1989. 

   Ukrainian players invariably accounted for around 25% to 40% of the squad on any USSR side, but very few people in the west knew this.  With independence, the world can see that Ukraine produces some pretty decent footballers.  Their good showing in the 2006 World Cup proved this, as they finished in the top 8 teams.  Just getting there was a major accomplishment.  They had to beat out 2004 Euro-champions Greece, and 2002 World Cup 3rd place finishers Turkey, plus Denmark, in their tough qualifying group.

   The manager of the Ukrainian national team is Oleg Blokhin, the most capped player of the Soviet Union.  The most prominent Ukrainian is 2004 European Footballer of the Year Andriy Shevchenko, who got his start with Dynamo Kyiv, before making his name at AC Milan.  He now plays for Chelsea, but has had problems adapting to the English style.  Andriy Voronin became a top striker with Bayer Leverkusen, and is now at Liverpool.  Anotoliy Tymoschuck was the midfield anchor at Shakhtar. He was sold for a record amount to Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg, who currently lead the league [Tymoschuk went on to Bayern Munich later].   

   Ukraine won its independence in 1991.  Since 1992, Ukraine has had its own league, the Vyscha Liha (Ukrainian Premier League).  Simferopol, a small club from Crimea, won the first, hastily assembled short season.  After that, Dynamo Kyiv won it 9 straight seasons.  Shakhtar Donetsk came under new ownership (Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in Ukraine) and began improving.  They finally won a league title in 2002, and have been battling Dynamo Kyiv for the title each year since.  They have become the big 2, to the detriment of the rest the league.  Dynamo have 12 titles, Shakhtar have 3.  Dynamo won it last season, but have played poorly in the Champions League for 3 seasons running.  Meanwhile Shakhtar, with their swank new training facilities, have been able to attract a higher caliber of player.  Brazilians feature large in their squad, though they just lost Elano to Manchester City. Brandao is one of 6 from Brazil on the team, and they recently signed the iconoclastic Italian striker Christiano Lucarelli.  They have been steadily improving on the European stage, and could finally advance to the group of 16 this season.  They just beat Celtic at home, and Benfica in Portugal.  Meanwhile last season’s 3rd-place team, Metalist Kharkiv, went to England and held Everton to a 1-1 draw, in the UEFA Cup.  Dnipro is up and coming, and have been the only other club besides the big 2 to supply starters to the national squad these days.  They could very well finish in the top two this season, and start to weaken the hegemony of the big 2. 

For the 2007-2008 season, UEFA ranks Dynamo Kyiv 63rd in Europe.  Shakhtar is ranked 69th, and Dnipro is 83rd.   Ukraine’s pro league is ranked 11th by UEFA (country ranking for league participation), up from 13th place.

Check out the September 2007 issue of World Soccer.  This magazine has a nice feature on Ukraine’s Premier League, complete with map and thumbnail profiles of the 16 clubs in this season.   

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