Wall Street Journal: Ukrainian soccer star Shevchenko turns to politics

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July 30, 2012, 8:52 a.m. | Ukraine abroad — by Wall Street Journal

Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko signs autographs during his visit to the Volodarskaya boarding-school in Kyiv region on July 28, 2012. Shevchenko said he was joining "Ukraine Forward" social democratic party after announcing that he was quitting football for politics.

October’s parliamentary election in Ukraine is set to pitch the former Soviet republic’s two greatest sportsmen against each other after soccer star Andriy Shevchenko said Saturday he is entering politics.

The former European player of the year–who had been expected to head to the U.S. for a big-money end to his career–will likely face off against heavyweight boxing champ Vitali Klitschko in the ballot in two of a plethora of parties that say they oppose President Viktor Yanukovych. Sources in the party he joined, called Ukraine–Forward!, told Ukrainian media that Mr. Shevchenko would be No. 2 on its party list, from which deputies are elected.

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