Voronin pockets regional award
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Dynamo Moscow and Ukraine forward Andriy Voronin has been named player of the year in the former Soviet Union region.

The 32-year-old, who previously represented Borussia Moenchengladbach, Cologne, Bayer Leverkusen, Hertha Berlin and Liverpool, collected 175 points in a poll conducted by Russian daily Sport Express among 45 newspapers and magazines in the former Soviet republics.

The award caps a triumphant return to eastern Europe for the Odessa-born Ukrainian, whose spell at Liverpool started promisingly but was blighted by injury and a lack of first-team appearances. He signed for Dynamo in 2010 and since then has played 31 games for the club, scoring 12 goals.

We have a chance to reach the knockout stage. Our performance in the last friendly matches with Germany and Austria give us hope we will be able to do it.
Andriy Voronin

Zenit striker Alexander Kerzhakov, who won the award in 2010, finished second, while his team-mate, goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev, was third.

Voronin said the prize would boost his confidence ahead of UEFA EURO 2012, which Ukraine will co-host with Poland.

"I'm happy that I managed to win a regular place in Dynamo's starting line-up last season," he commented. "This year I will need to establish my position at Dynamo and in Ukraine's national team."

"The draw put Ukraine into a group with very strong opponents. England and France look clear favourites, while Sweden also are strong.

"However, if our players work together as a single unit we have a chance to reach the knockout stage. Our performance in the last friendly matches with Germany (3-3) and Austria (2-1) give us hope we will be able to do it."