East-west relations may not currently be cordial at governmental level, but theyÃ¢ÂÂre far from frosty in the high-powered world of football business.
After enjoying a pleasant afternoon bobbing about off Sardinia on former Chukotka governor Roman AbramovichÃ¢ÂÂs floating palace-yacht, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi can look forward to spending some quality time with his godson Jordan Shevchenko.
Yes, AndriyÃ¢ÂÂs back at AC Milan after a couple of years lost in London - and it's to everyone's benefit. If reports are to be believed, Roman will continue to stump up part of ShevaÃ¢ÂÂs ÃÂ£120-grand-a-week salary for the next year, after which he will get first dibs on Ricky Kaka.
"...and there's a lovely bistro off the King's Road"
But while itÃ¢ÂÂs all smiles on the sun-kissed yacht, it may be a bit chilly in the Sheva household as the missus now has to troop back to Ã¢ÂÂvillage lifeÃ¢ÂÂ in Milan and face a chorus of Told You So from the brood of highly-competitive Rossoneri WAGs.
Mrs S has been putting on a brave (and presumably exquisitely exfoliated) face, ensuring a worried world that Ã¢ÂÂif Andriy is happy then we are happyÃ¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂweÃ¢ÂÂ being her and the nippers. Not that the former model is ready to jump on the first flight back to Italy just yet, mind: Ã¢ÂÂMe and the kids are staying in London as things are not ready at the other end,Ã¢ÂÂ she insisted. In other words, Ã¢ÂÂThat Lake Como villa needs a good airing and thereÃ¢ÂÂs no way IÃ¢ÂÂm staying in the Best Western in the meantime.Ã¢ÂÂ
Hubby, on the other hand, couldnÃ¢ÂÂt wait to hop on the plane and get back to speaking Italian Ã¢ÂÂ and he sure gave it some rabbit when he landed at Linate airport on Sunday evening. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm so happy, great to be back, love you all,Ã¢ÂÂ he gushed, before mentioning the unmentionable around Milanello: Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs like winning the Champions League.Ã¢ÂÂ
Silvio, Kristin, Jordan and Andriy share a moment
To make the homecoming complete, a group of hardcore Milan Ultras were on hand to welcome back the prodigal son. Shaven-headed and heavily tattooed, the Ultras barged their way to the front of the arrivals exit to ensure a startled Sheva Ã¢ÂÂ not to mention the rest of the urbane travellers leaving the terminal Ã¢ÂÂ that they held no grudges.
The same cannot be said for some of his new/old team-mates. The players are split over ShevaÃ¢ÂÂs return, with some of the old stagers seemingly still put out by the manner of the UkrainianÃ¢ÂÂs departure two years ago. Well, you know, these old folk do like to reminisce. Certainly Carlo Ancelotti will be chewing the insides of his ample cheeks as he comes to terms with having to play the bossÃ¢ÂÂs pet while keeping the likes of Filippo Inzaghi happy. Indeed, and to nobodyÃ¢ÂÂs great surprise, it seems Ancelotti was hardly the driving force being signing Shevchenko: just last Friday, the day before the return was confirmed, Ancelotti was bleating away about how much had he been left in the dark Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂThereÃ¢ÂÂs a lot of talk but little action.Ã¢ÂÂ
ItÃ¢ÂÂs also not what you would highlight as a problem position, whether youÃ¢ÂÂre from Milan, Manchester or Mongolia. Considering that both Ricky Kaka and Clarence Seedorf have been registered as strikers on the squad list, the coach can now call on seven front-men and about four defenders. It might sound heavenly for a Keegan or an Ardiles, but itÃ¢ÂÂs hardly likely to cut the mustard in Serie A. Place your bets now that the apple-cheeked one wonÃ¢ÂÂt see out the season at the San Siro Ã¢ÂÂ unlike the U-turning Ukrainian.