Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, confirmed Andriy Shevchenko as the first ambassador for the fundraising platform ©United24

Football legend Andriy Shevchenko has been named by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the first ambassador for the United24 fundraising platform, which seeks to increase charitable donations to support the war-torn nation.

Zelenskyy approved the launch of the platform earlier this month, as the nation seeks support following Russia’s invasion.

The platform allows for charitable donations to be collected and transferred to the National Bank of Ukraine.

The funds are then allocated by assigned ministries to cover the most pressing needs.

"Defence and Demining," "Medical Aid", and "Rebuild Ukraine" are the three main focuses for the funds.

More than $25 million (£20 million/€23 million) was raised within a week of the launch, with the Ukrainian Government saying corporate donors can choose areas they want to help with.

This includes providing hospitals with medical equipment, rebuilding critical infrastructure and purchasing ammunition for military units.

Zelenskyy confirmed Shevchenko as the first ambassador for the fundraising platform, with the Ukrainian President saying the football legend’s profile is vital to enhancing support for the nation globally.

"It is important that the first United24 ambassador is Ukrainian who is known all over the world," Zelenskyy said.

"Andriy gained trust and authority through his hard work and sports achievements.

"Now he has a new mission to tell the world about the events in Ukraine and use his authority to increase international aid to our country to bring us closer to victory."

Shevchenko is the Ukrainian national team’s all-time top scorer, with 48 goals in 111 appearances.

Shevchenko captained Ukraine to the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals in 2006 and last year led the national team to a maiden European Championship quarter-final as manager.

The 45-year-old played for Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan and Chelsea during his career.

Shevchenko was awarded the Ballon d'Or in 2004, with the prestigious honour coming after he had played a key role in AC Milan being crowned winners of Serie A in Italy.

He also won the UEFA Champions League with the Italian giants in 2003, while the forward received runners-up medals in the tournament in 2005 and 2008 when playing for AC Milan and Chelsea, respectively.

Shevchenko said he was honoured to become the ambassador for the platform, expressing hope the donations can assist Ukraine in the war.

Andriy Shevchenko is Ukraine's record goalscorer and last year led the nation to the quarter-finals at Euro 2020 as a coach ©Getty Images
Andriy Shevchenko is Ukraine's record goalscorer and last year led the nation to the quarter-finals at Euro 2020 as a coach ©Getty Images

"I have been representing Ukraine in the international football arena for many years," Shevchenko said.

"Today, when my country is torn by war, my priority is helping Ukraine, not football.

"It is a great honour to become the first United24 ambassador.

"I will do my best to raise awareness of Ukraine's needs; encourage people to join United24 and contribute to our victory."

Charity events and concerts, partnership projects with popular brands and collaborations with opinion leaders are expected to be held to help raise funds.

The first event in support of United24, a charity auction in London, will take place on June 8.

The Ukrainian Government has said further ambassadors will join Shevchenko and focus their efforts on increasing the number of donations in support of Ukraine.

The fund can be accessed here.