At the age of 35, Ukraine captain Andriy Shevchenko played the first European Championship match of his superb career. From being a legendary figure at AC Milan to a huge flop at Chelsea, the hit man rolled back the years with two of the finest finishes so far in Euro 2012.
The former Ballon d'Or winner helped his team come back from a goal down to beat a strong Sweden team 2-1 in front of the home crowd and gave the co-hosts a realistic chance to qualify for the next stage. Shevchenko, who had missed half of the season through injuries, looked sluggish and off the pace in the early stages. He huffed and puffed on the pitch in the first half and nearly came out with niggle in his foot, but was fit enough to carry on.
In the second half some brilliant runs helped him get past the defenders twice and Shevchenko headed the ball home in both instances. With a darting leap, the former Chelsea striker headed Andriy Yarmolenko's right-wing cross beyond Andreas Isaksson. His second goal was a mirror image; diverting Yevheniy Konoplyanka's corner inside Isaksson's other post. Fireworks began in the whole of Ukraine as their favourite son gave them something to cherish for a lifetime.
On Euro debut, the 35-year-old Ukraine captain was in his elements as he helped his team beat Sweden 2-1.
On Monday morning there were serious doubts over whether the legendary veteran would even start in the game, but not only did he start, Shevchenko was the best man on the pitch after 90 minutes. It was a dream come true for the star striker, once the most feared striker in the world.
At the end of the match, Shevchenko and his manager, Oleg Blokhin, rushed onto the pitch and celebrated like that had already won the biggest prize in Europe. It was a great day for Ukraine, but there are still two matches to prepare for. After such a heroic win, Sheva is even more of a legend now. Bring on England and France, he must be saying to himself.