Former Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko reveals what he thought before taking the decisive penalty kick in the 2003 Champions League Final and what Pippo Inzaghi did the morning before the game.
The former striker is now the Ukraine national team coach and spoke to Corriere della Sera Magazine 7 about his career.
Shevchenko won two Champions Leagues at Milan, the first one in 2003, when the Rossoneri beat Juventus on penalties. ‘Sheva’ scored the decisive one.
“I’ve always had doubts but never fear. I thought about everything when I was about to take the penalty. My childhood in Chernobyl, my friends who died, everything.
“I told myself: ‘Don’t change your mind once you have decided the direction of the penalty shot.’”
“I remember I put my tongue on my lip, and I realized my mouth was completely dry. I stared at the referee because the noise of the fans covered everything else and I had not heard the whistle. He nodded to me, and I started.
“When the ball was halfway, I saw Buffon going the opposite direction. I understood before anyone else that it was done, that image will remain forever.”
The former striker partnered Filippo Inzaghi up front in that legendary Milan side.
“Pippo is obsessed with football. The morning before the Final, I woke up and looked outside my room.
“We were staying in a hotel close to a golf court. I spotted a person running alone, making some movements and looking around to see if an invisible referee had blown the whistle for an offside.
“He pointed to an imaginary goal. That person was Pippo.”
However, Shevchenko doesn't only have good memories about Champions League Finals as he revealed he had had nightmares for three months after the 2005 one lost against Liverpool.