London: Taking a swipe at French coach Laurent Blanc after he claimed France will be underdogs, his Ukrainian counterpart Oleg Blokhin has hit back ahead of their clash in Donetsk tonight.
Blanc tried to put pressure on the host nation, by claiming Ukraine are favourites to win and qualify from the group, despite being 38 places behind France in FIFA’s world rankings.
Blokhin said: “England and France are leaders in world football. If Blanc said they are outsiders, he cheats a little bit because they have great young players and lots of stars.”
Blokhin tried to play down the starring role of Andriy Shevchenko after the fomer Chelsea striker scored twice to sink Sweden, reports said.
When Blokhin was asked repeatedly about what Shevchenko brings to the team, he joked: “Tea and coffee!”
But he praised the 35-year-old’s attitude. “He is a great example of professionalism, especially at his age. He is a wonderful role model to the younger players,” he said.