Andriy Shevchenko has been regular grist for the MLS rumor mill, including in our very own Rumor Central, ever since he first started having troubles at Chelsea a few years back. Actually, it probably goes all the way back to when he married an American.
Well, starting today, we won't have to hear -- and scoff at -- those Sheva-to-MLS rumors anymore. On Saturday, the Ukrainian icon retired from the game and will now pursue a political career, working with the Forward Ukraine! party.
"Recently, there has been a lot of talk that I could sign a new contract with Dynamo Kyiv or play abroad," he said. "I can say, with confidence, that neither will happen. Perhaps this will shock everyone: I have decided to bring an end to my football career and to enter politics."
Shevchenko's career will go down as one of the most prolific and successful in history. At the club level, he scored 326 goals playing for Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan, and Chelsea, winning five Ukrainian titles, an Italian title, and the 2003 Champions League.
Internationally, he scored 48 goals in 111 appearances for his country, including his final two in a 2-1 win over Sweden at EURO 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted.
He won the Ballon d'Or in 2004.
"I want to fulfill myself in politics, share the experience I gained in Europe, and do something for my country," he said, according to the Forward Ukraine! press service. "Forward Ukraine! is the party of the future, a party of young leaders, and it is a definite choice between the past and the future."