9 de julio de 2010

Wall of Fame

Country Soviet Union
Date of birth 22-Oct-1929 († 20-Mar-1990)
Era 1950s, 1960s
List of honours Olympic Gold: 1956; European Champion: 1960; Domestic Champion: 1954, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1963; 74 caps 0 goals

Continental ChampionDomestic Champion Caps
  1x      5x       4x

Many experts consider Lev Yashin to be the best ever goalkeeper in football history and looking at his credentials it is difficult to argue. Yashin combined his imposing stature with athleticism and amazing reflexes. The fact that he is the only goalkeeper to date (2009) to win the European Footballer of the Year Award (1963) says it all. Yashin was born on 22 October 1929 in Moscow, where he would spend his entire career at the local club Dinamo, helping them win five domestic league titles and three cups. Early in his career, Yashin found it hard to earn a regular place in Dinamo’s line-up because of the presence of 'Tiger' Khomich, the custodian of the Soviet national team, so he tried his hand at Ice Hockey. Yashin was successful in that sport, too, winning the Soviet Ice Hockey championship with Dinamo in 1953. In 1954, however, Yashin finally made his debut in the national team and he could concentrate on football. This resulted in him winning 74 caps, gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and the inaugural European Championship in 1960. He also played in three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1966) and earned the nickname "Black Spider" because he always wore an all-black outfit and because it often seemed like he had eight arms and countless legs when making his spectacular saves. An oddity: he is believed to have saved an amazing 150 penalty kicks during his career. Yashin retired in 1971 and died in 1990 as a result of complications caused by an earlier amputation of one of his legs, presumably due to diabetes. He had earlier received the highest decorations in the Soviet Union and Dinamo honoured him with a bronze statue. FIFA named him in their ‘Century XI’ team and decided to name the award for the best goalkeeper of the World Cup finals after him.

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