Posted on August 25, 2008
The Ukraine forward touched down in Italy late on Sunday night after Chelsea agreed terms with the Serie A side on Saturday on a deal to take Shevchenko back to Milan – the club he represented for seven seasons between 1999 and 2006.
The deal was only awaiting a medical but a Milan spokesman confirmed on Monday evening that the 31-year-old had come through it successfully.
Shevchenko endured a difficult two years in London following a big-money transfer from the Rossoneri, finding the net just nine times in two Premier League campaigns.
But after completing his return to the Italian side – where he remains the club’s second all-time top goalscorer – the forward was quick to thank the Chelsea followers for their support.
“I’m so very happy to be here,” he told the Milan website.
“At this very special moment for me, I really want to send a message to the Chelsea fans who in the past two years have always made me feel their support.
“A heartfelt thank you for that.”
Shevchenko’s delight to be back in Milan has been shared by Rossoneri playing staff and directors alike.
Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf and Kakha Kaladze have all spoken of their glee at the move, while star player Kaka revealed today he was “extra happy that Sheva has returned”.
Vice-president Adriano Galliani also expressed his joy at seeing the Ukrainian back among the squad, and insists his return was not solely due to club owner Silvio Berlusconi’s close relationship with the player.
“This is a family and we’re all happy,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It’s not true that only Silvio Berlusconi insisted that Andriy return. I’ve put my weight behind the cause too and I’m happy that in the end we’ve succeeded in bringing him home.”
Shevchenko is set to train individually before joining up with the rest of the squad when they return from having played a friendly in Spain.
It is still uncertain which number the former Milan number seven will wear, although the current occupant of Shevchenko’s old shirt – Alexandre Pato – has already revealed he is willing to give up the number.
“We’ll talk about it,” Galliani said. “Maybe our baby (Pato) will give Sheva his number seven back, but it’s not fair to ask him.”
On the matter, Shevchenko himself added: “That’s nice of Pato to say that, but as far as I’m concerned number 76 would do fine too, or 70 or 77.
“For me it’s just enough that the number’s on a Milan shirt.”