Ukraine, which was a member of the Soviet Union until 1991, has a recent presence in international football in comparison to the extensive histories of other footballing nations. However, TheFootballLovers have compiled a list of the Top 10 best Ukrainian footballers of all time.
Despite being commonly considered a country with enormous power in young football teams, Ukraine has yet to establish itself as a danger to major European clubs at the senior level.
Although no silverware has been won by Ukraine’s national team, the finest Ukrainian players have frequently seized the spotlight when asked to represent their country due to both talent and attitude.
Best Ukrainian Footballers Ever
Ukrainian football began to flourish after a rough period. The Yellow and Blues have produced a lot of excellent football players who have etched their names in the memories of football fans with their stellar exploits in recent years. Let’s list down the best Ukraine players of all-time.
10. Yevhen Konoplyanka
Yevhen Olehovych Konoplyanka was born in Kirovohrád, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and played as a winger for the most part of his football career. Konoplyanka has won the Ukrainian Footballer of the Year award three times, in 2010, 2012, and 2013. (jointly with Andriy Yarmolenko). Yevhen Konoplyanka is among the best Ukrainian soccer players of all time.
Furthermore, Konoplyanka represented the German team Schalke 04 and, later, Shakhtar Donetsk before joining the Polish club Cracovia in 2022. Konoplyanka led Shakhtar to the Ukrainian League title in 2019/20.
In addition, he has been an international since 2010, earning 86 caps for the Ukraine national team and scoring 21 goals. Yevhen Konoplyanka competed in both EURO 2012 and EURO 2016 for Ukraine.
9. Andriy Pyatov
Andriy Valeriyovych Pyatov is a Ukrainian professional football goalkeeper who plays for and captains both Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukrainian Premier League and the Ukraine national team.
In 2015, Andriy Pyatov beat Shovkovskyi’s record for the most penalties blocked in European tournaments by saving his fourth penalty.
Pyatov debuted for Ukraine at the senior level in 2007. He has since made over 90 appearances for the Ukrainian national team. Andriy Pyatov certainly deserves a spot on our list of best Ukrainian football players.
8. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk
Anatoliy Oleksandrovych Tymoshchuk was born in Lutsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and mostly played as a center back during his football career. Before retiring in 2016, Tyomoshchuk had previously played for Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit Saint – Petersburg, Bayern Munich, and the Kazakhstani club Kairat.
Tymoshchuk has been named Ukrainian Player of the Year three times (2002, 2006, and 2007). Furthermore, while playing for Zenit, he was named Russian Premier League Player of the Year in 2007.
Furthermore, Tymoshchuk is the most capped player in Ukraine’s national team history, having appeared in 144 games between 2000 and 2016. He was a member of his country’s first-ever World Cup team in 2006, as well as EURO 2012.
Tymoshchuk gained the captaincy when Andriy Shevchenko retired in 2012 and wore the armband for four years. He is deservedly regarded as one of Ukraine’s best football players, and in 2011, he was named the best footballer in the country’s history.
7. Oleg Protasov
Oleg Valeriyovych Protasov was born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and mostly played as a center forward. Protasov is among the top Ukrainian soccer players.
In the 1980s, Protasov was one of the top players for the Soviet Union national football team. With 28 goals, he is the second all-time leading scorer for the USSR national team, trailing only Oleg Blokhin (42).
In 1987, he was awarded Soviet Footballer of the Year. Furthermore, with 125 goals in the Soviet league, Protasov is the eighth highest goal scorer of all time.
Furthermore, Protasov was a member of the USSR national squad that placed second in EURO 1988, scoring two goals throughout the tournament. He also represented the Soviet Union in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups. Protasov played for the Ukrainian national team in a match in 1984.
6. Igor Belanov
Igor Ivanovich Belanov was born in Odesa, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and played as a striker for the most part of his career. While playing with Dynamo Kyiv, the famed Ukrainian striker rose to notoriety. Belanov won two Soviet League championships, three Soviet National Cups, and two Soviet Super Cups, as well as assisting the team in winning the 1985/86 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
After his teammate, Oleg Blokhin, Belanov became the second Ukrainian to win the Ballon d’Or. Belanov began his professional career at his hometown teams before joining Dynamo in 1985.
Belanov appeared in 33 games for the Soviet Union national team, scoring eight goals in the process. He was a member of the USSR team that competed in the 1986 FIFA World Cup and the 1988 EURO. Igor Belanov is arguably one of the top Ukrainian soccer players ever.
5. Serhiy Rebrov
Serhiy Stanislavovych Rebrov was born in Horlivka, Soviet Union (now Ukraine), and mostly played as a central striker during his career. Rebrov is most known for his 1990s striking partnership with Andriy Shevchenko for both club and nation. Serhiy Rebrov is one of the best Ukrainian soccer players ever.
At the age of 18, Rebrov made his senior international debut in June 1992, following his first season as a pro with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.
Rebrov is the all-time best goal scorer in the Ukrainian Premier League, with 123 goals in 263 matches (alongside the Uzbek Maksim Shatskikh). He has won the Ukrainian Player of the Year title two times (1996, 1998), as well as the Ukrainian Premier League Player of the Season award three times (1996, 1998, 1999).
Rebrov has also coached Dynamo Kyiv, winning two Ukrainian leagues and cups. He is now the head coach of Ferencvaros of Hungary.
4. Oleksandr Shovkovskyi
Oleksandr Shovkovskyi, one of Ukraine’s most capped players and an 18-year veteran of the national team, cemented his legendary reputation on the largest platform, necessitating his selection.
In November 1994, Shovkovskyi made his senior international debut. At the time, the goalkeeper was in his second season as a professional with Dynamo Kyiv in Ukraine.
By 2006, Shovkovskyi had amassed a total of 64 caps. Oleksandr Shovkovskyi was Ukraine’s first-choice goalkeeper in the 2006 World Cup. At the tournament, he started all five games and had three clean sheets.
Shovkovskyi has the most appearances for Dynamo Kyiv in their history, having spent his whole career with the club (637 games). He is well known for being an expert at saving penalties. Shovkovskyi is arguably one of the best Ukrainian footballers of all time.
3. Andriy Yarmolenko
Andriy Yarmolenko is one of the best footballing talents the country of Ukraine has ever produced. Andriy Mykolayovych Yarmolenko was born in Leningrad, Soviet Union, and is currently playing as a winger/forward.
Andriy Yarmolenko is currently playing for West Ham in the English Premier League. Yarmolenko has to be one of the best Ukrainian football players in England.
Yarmolenko made his professional debut in his fourth season while playing for Dynamo Kyiv of Ukraine. By Euro 2012, the attacker has become one of the first names on the squad sheet after two years of acclimatization. It was Yarmolenko’s first big international event, hosted by his country.
His achievements at the start of the decade helped him establish himself as one of football’s most promising young prospects. In 2010 and 2011, Yarmolenko was voted Ukraine’s Best Young Player, and he won the Ukrainian Footballer of the Year title four times after that.
Yarmolenko, a skilled inside forward with a wand of a left foot, is unpredictable with his dribbling and clinical in his finishing inside or outside the opposition box at his best. He’s still going strong, with over 20 caps in the last three years alone. In addition, the attacker is Dynamo Kyiv’s all-time leading scorer.
2. Oleg Blokhin
Oleh Volodymyrovych Blokhin was born in Kyiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and played as a center forward during his football career. Blokhin was recognized as one of the finest players in the world during the 1970s, as well as one of the greatest Ukraine football players in the game’s history.
Oleg Blokhin won the famous Ballon d’Or for the first time in 1975, becoming the first Ukrainian and the second Soviet player to do so.
Furthermore, the prolific goal scorer has won the Ukrainian Footballer of the Year award nine times and the Soviet Footballer of the Year award three times, both of which are records.
Blokhin is regarded as one of the best – if not the best – players in Dynamo Kyiv’s history. With 266 goals in 582 games, Oleg Blokhin is the club’s all-time leading scorer. Oleg Blokhin is certainly among the best Ukrainian footballers ever.
1. Andriy Shevchenko
So to answer who is the best Ukrainian soccer player? Andriy Shevchenko is the best Ukrainian soccer player ever. Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko was born in Dvirkivshchyna, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, and most played as a striker in his career.
Andriy Shevchenko is regarded as one of the most devastating attackers the world of football has ever seen, having played for Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan, and Chelsea. When the natural goal scorer saw the net, the fans went crazy.
Shevchenko is one of the most renowned Ukrainian football players of all time, having won the coveted Ballon d’Or in 2004 and became the third Ukrainian to do so following Oleg Blokhin (1975) and Igor Belanov (1986).
Shevchenko’s legendary status was cemented by his 2006 World Cup performances, but he yearned for more. The attacker refused to put up his boots so he could participate in Euro 2012, which is being hosted in part by Ukraine.
Andriy Shevchenko turned back the clock at the Euros, scoring 100 percent of Ukraine’s goals despite the Yellow and Blue’s elimination in the group stage. He scored two goals in as many starts, including a brace in a 2-1 triumph over Sweden.
Furthermore, the great striker has a lot of individual records. The following are a few of them: Shevchenko is Rossoneri’s all-time leading scorer, with 175 goals in 322 games.
Additionally, the prolific goal scorer has won the UEFA Champions League top scorer award three times, as well as being named the Serie A best scorer twice. In 2005, he was named to the FIFPro World XI, as well as the UEFA Team of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
Andriy Shevchenko is Ukraine’s all-time leading goalscorer, with the most caps as captain and the second most caps overall. He has been the manager of Ukraine’s national team since 2016.
Shevchenko was the manager of Ukraine’s national team for EURO 2020 when they made history by reaching the quarterfinals for the first time.
Andriy Shevchenko’s renown and popularity among his people, as one of the finest Ukrainian footballers of all time, is impossible for another Ukrainian player anytime soon.