Soccer-Genoa’s Shevchenko trying to block emotions ahead of AC Milan reunion

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Quarter Final - Ukraine v England - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - July 3, 2021 Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko applauds after the match Pool via REUTERS/Alberto Pizzoli

GENOA, Italy (Reuters) - Genoa coach Andriy Shevchenko says he wants to block out his emotions as he prepares to face former club AC Milan as a manager for the first time in Serie A on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian became one of Milan’s all-time greats during a seven-year spell at the club between 1999 and 2006, firing them to the Champions League, Serie A, the Coppa Italia and winning the 2004 Ballon d’Or.

Shevchenko was appointed Genoa coach on Nov. 7, his first club job, and comes face-to-face with his former employers in just his third game after picking up a draw and a defeat so far.

“I will definitely be excited, but I am trying to block out my emotions,” he told a news conference.

“This is part of my job. I am a professional and I promised the Genoa fans that I will do my best for them. Now I am thinking about doing everything possible to make life difficult for Milan.

“I will always support Milan, but not against Genoa.”

Shevchenko faces a relegation battle, with Genoa currently 18th and one point adrift of the safety zone, and they face a big challenge against second-placed Milan.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Toby Davis)

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