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Bayern Munich star aims high for Ukraine

sports Updated: May 21, 2012 08:11 IST

AFP
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Ukraine's experienced midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk has a lot of pressure on him but he makes light of it and is confident the adrenaline of co-hosting Euro 2012 will see them defy the sceptics and go the whole way.

"We all should be geared up for the maximum result -- victory -- at our home European championship," said the Bayern Munich veteran.

"And we should perform at our very best throughout the entire tournament to obtain this result."

Tymoshchuk, Ukraine's most capped player with 114 caps and four goals, is confident it will progress from a tough group that also includes England, France and Sweden.

"We are set to win a place in the knockout round, it's a point which is not to be discussed. After that we'll see. I see Ukraine in the final. It's a very tough task but I'm accustomed to ask for the impossible, it's a chance to obtain the maximum," he said, pointing to the example of the Greek side which unexpectedly won the 2004 European championship.

Tymoshchuk, who won championship titles in Ukraine, Russia and Germany during a glittering career, is an experienced veteran on the international scene, having made his Ukraine debut back in 2000.

Born in the western Ukrainian city of Lutsk, Tymoshchuk has enjoyed a lot of success at club level.

He captained Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, where he played from 1997-2007 before joining Russian high-flyers Zenit Saint Petersburg in a record $20-million transfer deal.

Tymoshchuk won the Russian title in his first year with the Russian club, where he was also appointed captain.

His club career reached its peak in 2008 when he won UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Zenit before joining Bayern a year later on a three-year deal.

The 33-year-old midfielder is getting swept up in the excitement of the upcoming European championship, saying he was feeling the anticipation surrounding this summer's event in his motherland and Poland.

"The excitement is growing more and more, and I feel it as an ordinary person, as a fan," said Tymoschuk, who just extended his contract with Germany's 22-time champions for another year.

"In my conversations with friends and family, they say they also feel the same excitement in the air. Everyone is getting ready, tickets and stadiums. Everybody is trying to get to the event and to enjoy the atmosphere."

Tymoshchuk added he was feeling the extra responsibility being the most experienced member of the squad. He said that he was determined to encourage his younger teammates to seize the chance to impress.

"I've spoken to many of them," Tymoshchuk said. "If they are young players the upcoming event is their opportunity of a lifetime. The right to represent your country at Euro is a great achievement for the player. I hope we will live up to Ukraine's expectations."