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02/10/2013 10:26, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Andrei: Made in Ukraine

On Wednesday night, United and Shakhtar Donetsk contested a competitive match for the first time, forging an indelible link between the two clubs.

However, both parties were already conjoined in history by the transfer of Andrei Kanchelskis, who became the first Ukrainian to ply his trade at Old Trafford in 1991. 

Here, thanks to our colleagues at MUTV, you can watch a free video of the winger's best bits and learn more about his remarkable career...

The formative years: Kanchelskis was born in Kirovograd and began his professional career at Dynamo Kiev in the late eighties before moving to Shakhtar in 1990. An exciting winger of lightning pace and great stamina, he soon caught the eye of the national team and quickly earned 19 caps for the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution in 1991 (he later chose to represent Russia over Ukraine). By now, having earned a solid reputation in Eastern Europe, it was time to spread his wings in the west. 

Eastern promise: In May 1991, Alex Ferguson paid £650,000 to sign the 22-year-old and while some fans were asking ‘Andrei Who?’, it didn’t take them long to acknowledge his immense talent. Playing as one third of a wing triumvirate that included Ryan Giggs and Lee Sharpe, Kanchelskis impressed with his dynamic, free-running approach and soon became a cult hero. His first two full seasons yielded 74 appearances and one title winners’ medal, but impressively, his full potential was about to be realised.

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