France could face 45-year-old assistant coach in goal against Ukraine as retired Shovkovskiy is drafted into team

KYLIAN MBAPPE could go head to head tonight with a 45-year-old ex-goalkeeper who retired from playing four YEARS ago.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker has been included in the France squad to take on Ukraine in the international friendly.

But Ukraine are in bother because they only have one fit goalkeeper for the game – with three other shot-stoppers ruled out by coronavirus.

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Head coach Andriy Shevchenko has therefore decided to include assistant head coach Oleksandr Shovkovskiy on the bench.

This is despite Shovkovskiy retiring from football in 2016 and last playing for his country in 2012.

He made his international debut four years before Mbappe was even born.

Confirming the news in a statement on their official website, the country's FA said: "Due to the fact there is only one healthy goalkeeper left in the national team of Ukraine, the coaching staff of the blue-yellows decided to include in application for a friendly game with France the assistant head coach Oleksandr Shovkovskiy.

"Note the Uefa regulations allow to include in the list of participants of the match, including players who do not have a professional contract with any club, but are citizens of the country represented by the team."

Ukraine do not expect Shovkovskiy, who made a huge 426 appearances for Dynamo Kiev, to play.

But clearly he will get the call should keeper Georgiy Bushchan get injured.

World champions France and their team of superstars will no doubt fancy their chances against a keeper who is not match fit, to say the least.


First-choice goalie Andriy Pyatov was not named in Shevchenko's squad after picking up coronavirus.

Real Madrid back-up keeper Andriy Lunin and FC Oleksandriya's Yuriy Pankiv were both also ruled out after contracting the killer bug.

Shovkovskiy played 92 times for his country between 1994 and 2012, having a starring role in Ukraine's run to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2006.

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