Ukraine is attempting to qualify for a second World Cup since gaining independence in 1991.
The match was originally scheduled for March 24, but was postponed by Fifa due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The Scotland match represents the country’s hope,” said the former Chelsea striker, who will oversee the national squad at Euro 2020.
“At this point in time, going to the World Cup is critical for Ukraine.
“It’s remarkable how motivated people are.” We should, in my opinion, put the outcome behind us and concentrate solely on the game.
“We have to play for the fans, for Ukraine as a whole, for those who are at home, for those who are protecting the country, and for those who have fled the country.”
The winner of the Glasgow match will face Wales in Cardiff on Sunday for a place in the World Cup in Qatar in November.
“I know the stadium will be packed, and the Scottish fans, as well as those who will watch the game around the world – Ukrainians or not – will be cheering,” said Shevchenko, who made 111 appearances for Ukraine and scored 48 goals.
“I feel we can qualify for the World Cup by winning and then beating Wales.” The players are aware of their responsibilities.”
Oleksandr Petrakov, who took over for Shevchenko in August 2021, said his players’ morale is “sky-high.”
“It’s pointless to try to persuade them or say anything,” he added. “They’ve played football before and know exactly what they’re doing.”
But getting ready hasn’t been easy. Ukraine’s players have had to prepare for the game outside of their home nation due to the war.
Many of those living in Ukraine have been attending a month-long training camp in Slovenia and have seen little or no competitive action since football was suspended by war just days before the local season was set to resume following a long winter break.
Only after players from Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk were granted special permission to leave the country and tour Europe for friendlies was the training camp conceivable.
They’ve played club football in Germany, Italy, and Croatia, but their conditioning isn’t yet up to par for international games.
‘The warriors of Ukraine talk a lot about football.’
Because of recent events in Ukraine, Scotland’s opponents are sure to receive a lot of neutral support throughout the play-offs, but the semi-final will also be eagerly watched by people on the front lines of the conflict.
Artem Fedetskyi, a former Shakhtar Donetsk defender who has 53 caps for Ukraine, joined the territorial defence shortly after Russia’s invasion.
Fedetskyi told BBC Sport, “I was at the hotspots of this war.”
“There, soldiers talk a lot about football. It is their ambition for our squad to qualify for the World Cup.”
He made sure Andriy Yarmolenko of West Ham and Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City, two of the most important players in the Ukrainian side, received the message.
“I talk to both of them all the time,” he added. “They and the rest of the team recognise the significance of this game.” But no one knows what each individual is like on the inside, and you can’t train that.”
Oleksandr Kucher, who has 57 caps for Ukraine, is now the manager of Metalist Kharkiv, a second-tier team.
“Playing friendly matches isn’t enough, but it’s something,” he remarked.
“In such a moment as this, this squad must provide hope.” I’m hoping and believing that we’ll get it through, and then we’ll play Wales at the weekend.
“I have no doubt that our players will give it their all on the field.”
Even before the war, Ukraine faced a difficult assignment in qualifying for the World Cup, given Scotland’s comeback and the likelihood of facing a dominating Wales side in the final on home soil.
Despite the hardships they have endured in the build-up, Fedetskyi believes manager Petrakov will be able to encourage his players.
Fedetskyi said, “The coach is a good speaker.” “He’ll know what to say to the lads; he’ll come up with the proper phrases.”
“Petrakov will train warriors in the same way as our heroes do at home.” They shall win the war against this wretched aggressor.
“And the national team will face a difficult opponent in Scotland.” However, I have faith in our leaders. They’re all set.”