Tag: ussr

The USSR’s momentous World Cup campaign of 1966

Many European countries have enjoyed success in World Cup football. The tournament has been won by England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, while the Czechoslovakia, Holland and Hungary have played in a…

Lev Yashin: the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or

Illustration by Federico Manasse How do you measure greatness? Statistics, trophies and personal accolades are often touted as the benchmarks, but for Lev Yashin, the best indication is through the reputation he…

The golden ages of the Soviet national team

THINK OF THE RUSSIAN NATIONAL TEAM and you’re unlikely to think of anything particularly positive. One brief flutter towards success came in reaching the Euro 2008 semi-finals in fine style – led by…

The last great days of the Soviet Union

TWENTY PIVOTAL SECONDS brought football’s Iron Curtain down. Munich’s iconic Olympiastadion played host to the final of the 1988 European Championships, and it was here, in the 57th minute, that the last…

A Stalinist utopia and the Ghosts of Avanhard

The Avanhard Stadium was set to open on 1 May 1986 as the centrepiece of Stalinist utopia and regeneration in northern Ukraine. Soviet authorities saw the building of the new football ground as…

Igor Netto: the forgotten legend of Russian football

This feature is part of The Tsars of Football Nowadays the term ‘fair play’ has degenerated into kicking the ball out of the pitch when a player is faking an injury while…

Lev Yashin: the heroic gentleman in black

THERE HAVE BEEN many great goalkeepers in the history of the game. They range from the sober, colder types to the theatrical, colourful types and everything in between. But there is one man…

The groundbreaking Dynamo Moscow tour of Britain in 1945

Several months after World War Two had been declared a victory Great Britain and its allies, the English FA, striving to discover the intriguing nature of football behind the Iron Curtain, decided to…