Ukraine no longer considers itself an outsider since it reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
The Eastern European nation, which is making its first World Cup appearance, has been emboldened since becoming the first former-Soviet republic to get past the group stage, then defeating the unbeaten Swiss in the second round.
Now the team is eager to face talent-packed Italy in the quarterfinal at Hamburg on June 30, 2006.
"We are not dark horses. We are the Ukainian national team," declared Ukraine coach Oleh Blokhin, a former Soviet player who is worshipped by his team and nation of 47 million. "I understand we are not Argentina or Brazil, or one of those teams, but we made the quarterfinals.
"We've not stoppd here. I'm not satisfied so far. We have a game against Italy. I understand Italy is the favourite but there are two teams on the pitch and we developed an appetite and we will try to win.