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REBROV Serhiy

06 June, 2006

REBROV Serhiy from Ukraine.One of Europe’s most highly-rated strikers while with Dynamo Kyiv in the late 90s, he gradually sank into anonymity after enduring one unsuccessful transfer after another. But after being dismissed by many as a spent force, he h

Name: REBROV Serhiy

Date of birth:   3 June 1974

Height:  175 cm

Weight:  80 kg

Position:  Midfielder

Current Club:  Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)

Int'l Goals:   14 (as of 6-Jun-2006)

Int'l Caps:  69 (as of 6-Jun-2006)

First Int'l Cap:  USA v. Ukraine (27-Jun-1992)

Detail: It has been a long hard journey back for Serhiy Rebrov. One of Europe’s most highly-rated strikers while with Dynamo Kyiv in the late 90s, he gradually sank into anonymity after enduring one unsuccessful transfer after another. But after being dismissed by many as a spent force, he has engineered a comeback by returning to the club closest to his heart and proceeding to reclaim his place in the national team.

Rebrov was barely 17 when he started making headlines in his homeland. In the colours of Shaktar Donetsk, he seemed to score goals for fun and ended the 1991/92 season as his side’s top scorer. It was enough to attract the attention of Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv and would lead to Rebrov finally putting pen to paper for the country’s most prestigious club during the close season.

The move marked the start of a great adventure that saw the seemingly unstoppable young Sergiy fire his side to an incredible eight consecutive national titles between 1993 and 2000, together with five national cups (1993, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000). Moreover, in 192 league appearances, he registered no less than 94 goals, plus a further 18 in 35 cup matches.

Not content with terrorising Ukrainian defences, Rebrov also made a name for himself on the European scene. At the spearhead of the Dynamo attack, he and a certain Andriy Shevchenko formed a truly awesome duo that lit up UEFA Champions League nights at such prestigious locations as Madrid, Turin, Munich and Barcelona. In 1999, Dynamo reached the semi-final of the event before being eliminated by Bayern Munich. "That was the best period of my life," recalls Rebrov. "We had a great side and a great coach. We could well have won the Champions League and everyone was afraid of us. Even (Manchester United manager) Alex Ferguson used to say that he didn’t want to play us because we played fantastic football." With his tally of 28 goals in 60 appearances, he remains Dynamo’s all-time top scorer in European competition.

Partnership broken

Whereas the man later to become known as Sheva joined AC Milan in the summer of 1999, his partner decided to remain a Dynamo player for one more year. Even without his fellow sharpshooter, Rebrov continued his free-scoring form, both at home and in Europe. The following year, with half of Europe’s top clubs clamouring for his services, the Ukrainian signed for the English club Tottenham Hotspur.

At the time, Spurs boss George Graham described him as "an excellent player who can only improve as he gets used to the English game". He even went as far as to predict a glorious future for his new signing in London, saying: "In fact, he could even replace David Ginola as the fans’ new idol."

But Graham was replaced by Glenn Hoddle, who excluded Rebrov from his plans. He had very few opportunities to show his talents and even lost his place in the national side. Loaned out successively to Fenerbahce of Turkey and West Ham, then in the England’s second flight, he ended his English adventure with the meagre tally of 16 goals in two and a half years under contract to Tottenham.

In the summer of 2005, the 31-year-old Rebrov signed a new deal with the club where he made his name. Deployed in Kyiv’s midfield alongside the young and talented Ruslan Rotan, he has found a new lease of life and consequently another chance to shine in the national team. His return has been greeted with universal delight by Ukrainian fans, who dream of seeing the Rebrov-Shevchenko partnership devastate defences in Germany this summer.


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