Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, who made penalty-defending history at the FIFA World Cup™, has called time on his Dynamo Kyiv-exclusive career.
The 41-year-old made 645 appearances for the club, with whom he won 14 Ukrainian top-flight crowns. He is, moreover, one of only four goalkeepers to have reached 100 appearances in the UEFA Champions League, alongside Iker Casillas, Oliver Kahn and Edwin van der Sar.
“Everything has its beginning and its end,” Shovkovskiy told Dynamo’s official website. “My 20-plus years as a professional footballer are over.
“All those years I was happy to defend the colours of Dynamo. I've had many victories and many losses, big triumphs and bitter defeats. I’m happy with my career, but it's time to say goodbye and to thank the club and fans for everything.”
Shovkovskiy kept six successive clean sheets in Germany 2006 qualifying to power Ukraine to their first World Cup. There, he kept two shutouts in Group H to help Oleg Blokhin’s side into the Round of 16, where he became the first – and, to date, only – keeper not to concede in a World Cup penalty shootout, saving attempts from Marco Streller and Ricardo Cabanas and seeing Tranquillo Barnetta hit his crossbar as Ukraine beat Switzerland 3-0. Shovkovskiy and Co lost to eventual champions Italy in the quarter-finals, but went home with their heads held high.
Shovkovskiy ended 18 years of international service in 2012, having won 92 caps. Only Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (144), Andriy Shevchenko (111) and Oleg Gusev (98) have played more matches for Ukraine.
Ukraine are second in Group I in Russia 2018 qualifying, two points behind Croatia and one above third-placed Iceland.