KIEV: Ukrainian forward Andriy Shevchenko says he plans to take up an offer from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to become his son’s godfather.
European Player of the Year Shevchenko added on Tuesday that he and his US-born wife had agreed to baptise their children, alternatively, as Catholics and as Orthodox, the majority faith in ex-Soviet Ukraine.
“Yes, I did get such an offer. As soon as an opportunity arises for the Prime Minister – he is a very busy man – the (baptism) ceremony will take place,” Shevchenko told a news conference.
“It will take place according to Catholic tradition. That’s what we decided in our inter-ethnic family. When we have a second child it will be done according to Orthodox tradition.”
Shevchenko is married to US model Kristen Pazik and the couple’s first child, son Jordan, was born last October.
The Ukrainian player is on good terms with Berlusconi and recently spent some time at the Prime Minister’s villa in Sardinia.
Ukraine lead their World Cup Group Two qualifying with 23 points. They play in Georgia on Saturday and will qualify if they win. They close out the campaign against Turkey and Albania.
Shevchenko said he suffered a minor ankle injury in AC Milan’s match last weekend, in which he scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against newly promoted Ascoli.
“When I hit the goal I felt the pain,” he said. “Nonetheless I will be preparing for the game against Georgia and I hope that I will be able to play.”
Shevchenko denied suggestions that he was interested in a transfer to English champions Chelsea.
“I have just clinched a long-term contract with my club,” he said. “I want to stay as long as possible.”
He also rejected any notion that he was about to take on either Italian or his wife’s American citizenship.
“No and no yet again. I am Ukrainian and proud of it,” he said. “I intend to stay Ukrainian. After all, I’m captain of the national side. That should say it all for you.” – Reuters