It's No. 7 for Sheva
Updated: 2006-06-02 09:20

Andriy Shevchenko has responded to Jose Mourinho's claim that the player has always been his first choice for Chelsea. Mourinho meanwhile has confirmed that he can see the new arrival working in tandom with Didier Drogba.

Speaking to Chelsea TV after putting paper on his four year contract, Shevchenko said of Mourinho's long-term hope: "They are strong words for me and I am very happy that Mr. Mourinho said them, especially as they are words coming from one of the best managers in the world.

"I am looking forward to proving on the field that he was right when he said that. I have spoken to him for a long time and I feel that he is a very special person and a very clever man, as well as someone who knows a lot about football."

The new club record signing from Italy's Serie A backed himself to hit the ground running when the new Premiership campaign kicks-off.

"I hope I can adapt quickly," he said, "but it depends also on the World Cup and the pre-season. What is for sure is I will put all my strength and my soul to start at my best from the beginning.

"Football is most technical is Spain and most physical in England. In Italy it is a mix of everything so I am prepared for everything. I am happy to face the new challenge.

"I consider myself a striker but my first thought always is to think about the team because I want to settle in the team in the best possible way - learn the language, learn the other players, follow the strategy of the coach. Always my thought is about the team and to make the team even stronger with my goals."

Mourinho told Chelsea TV: "The signing is a great moment for Chelsea. He is one of the best players in the world in the last decade and I think the Chelsea players will receive him with open arms because they know when you want the next step, it must be with players of his dimension.

"A lot of people were speaking about Andriy to come and Didier Drogba to go but that was never, never, never the idea. They are two strikers with very different qualities. Andriy has creativity, speed with the ball, movement, intelligence, he is an amazing player. Didier is strong, powerful, a fighter, fantastic in creating spaces for other people to score."

The manager reaffirmed he can see the two working as partners.

"Andriy has a lot of times played 4-4-2 in Milan like Chelsea do a lot of times with a diamond in midfield and two strikers."

Chief executive Peter Kenyon, the man who negotiated the transfer confirmed the player had long been a target:

"Since my first conversation with Jose, he has always been on the list. I have spent every summer having discussions with Milan and I am delighted we have pulled it off this time.

"Selling Chelsea to him was fairly easy. He has had a great career at Milan and is up for another challenge. He sees the Premiership giving that and Chelsea the club that can fulfil his ambition. The difficult part was doing a deal with Milan.

"This demonstrates Chelsea are operating at the top level because he is recognised as probably the best striker in Europe, and he comes from a massive club in Milan."
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