12 de diciembre de 2010

Con Igor Netto en Chile

Soviet footballers Igor Netto and Lev Yashin at the monument to Chile's national hero Bernardo O'Higgins in Arica.

Los futbolistas soviéticos Igor Netto y Lev Yashin en el monumento al héroe nacional de Chile Bernardo O'Higgins en Arica.

Pelé habla con Valentina Yashina

Edison Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) during his visit to Moscow. Photo: Pele talking with Valentina Yashina, widow of his friend Lev Yashin.

Edison Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé) durante su visita a Moscú. Foto: Pelé hablando con Valentina Yashina, viuda de su amigo Lev Yashin.


FIFA Order of Merit 

Orden de Mérito de la FIFA

Order of Lenin
Orden de Lenin
Hero of Socialist Labour
Héroe del Trabajo Socialista

Orden de Lenin

Rafik Nishanov (right), chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities, USSR Supreme Soviet, awarding the Order of Lenin and the gold medal "Sickle and Hammer" to Lev Yashin, Merited Master of Sports of the USSR, who has been given the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.

 Rafik Nishanov (derecha), presidente del Sóviet de las Nacionalidades, Sóviet Supremo de la URSS, premiando con la Orden de Lenin y la medalla de oro de "la Hoz y el Martillo" a Lev Yashin, deportista de la URSS, a quien le fue concebido el título de Héroe del Trabajo Socialista.

Lev Yashin: Russian Revolutionary

"The joy of seeing Yuri Gagarin flying in space is only superseded by the joy of a good penalty save." Lev Yashin

Soviet Union goalkeeper Lev Yashin was a true football revolutionary, who transformed the way people viewed his position and became a shining example to future generations of stoppers. Oozing charisma and talent in abundance, Yashin earned iconic status for pioneering a new approach to playing between the posts and is regularly attributed the title of "greatest goalkeeper to have played the game".

The "Black Spider" made 75 appearances for the Soviet Union
Part of the USSR squad for four World Cups, Yashin made an indelible impression on the competition and the global audience, who from1958 were finally privy to events at the finals thanks to Soviet satellite Sputnik II beaming pictures to TV screens worldwide.

Like any goalkeeper, Yashin loved to make saves - foiling an estimated 150 penalty attempts during an illustrious 22-year career. But what set the 6ft 3in Yashin apart from his peers was his ability and enthusiasm for organising the defence in front of him. In an era where goalkeepers were never considered for the role of captain, Yashin would have made a fine skipper; his insistence on barking orders to the backline in front of him were a regular feature of games involving the Soviet Union and club side Dinamo Moscow.

Yashin played for Dinamo for the entirety of his career, having been brought into their junior side after being spotted playing for the team of the local munitions factory where he had worked from the age of 12. But Yashin's success was far from instantaneous and he struggled to break into the first team, choosing instead to play in goal for ice hockey team HC Dynamo Moscow, where, in 1953, he won the Soviet Cup.

But football was to prove his real calling and in the 1953 season he began to cement his status as a permanent fixture between the posts. A year later he made his debut for the Soviet Union and in 1958 he appeared on the global stage for the first time, in what was also his country's World Cup debut. Kitted out in all-black, Yashin was christened the "Black Spider", a nickname that recognised both the colour of his attire and his ability to save from impossible situations - making it seem at times like he had eight limbs.

Before the 1958 finals, Yashin had already built up a formidable reputation as a fearless player, happy to come off his line and close down oncoming forwards at a time when goalkeepers were expected to stand quietly between the sticks waiting for an attack to come.

His aptitude for preventing opponents for scoring was borne out of a genuine contempt for conceding goals, with the stopper once saying: "What kind of a goalkeeper is the one who is not tormented by the goal he has allowed?" He must be tormented! And if he is calm, that means the end. No matter what he had in the past, he has no future."

Yashin in action against West Germany in the 1966 semi-final
At their first attempt, the Soviet Union made it the World Cup quarter finals, drawing with England, beating Austria and losing to Brazil in the group stages. Though the score against the eventual champions was 2-0, Yashin was in imperious form, as a young Pele failed to find a goal and the score was kept at a respectable level. The goalkeeper kept his second clean sheet of the tournament as Soviet Union beat England 1-0 in a play-off to decide who advanced from the group, but an exit followed at the hands of Sweden in the last eight.
Soviet Union returned to compete at the 1962 finals in Chile, but it was to be quarter-final agony again as Yashin proved his infallibility. After keeping a clean sheet in the opening game against Yugoslavia, Yashin had a torrid time in the next against Colombia, conceding straight from Marcos Coll's corner - the only time a direct corner has been scored in World cup history.

Things went from bad to worse for the man considered at that time to be the best goalkeeper in the world as the blame for the 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Chile was placed squarely on Yashin after he let in two soft goals. Such was the goalkeeper's reputation at the time, Chilean goalscorer Eladio Rojas, whose strike turned out to be the winner, hugged Yashin in disbelief that he had beaten the legendary figure.

Yashin's erratic performances at the 1962 finals led French newspaper L'Equipe to proclaim that the 33-year-old goalkeeper was a fading force. But less than 12 months later, he was named European Footballer of the Year, and he remains the only goalkeeper to have ever won the prestigious Balon d'Or. When asked about the secret of his success, Yashin said: "The trick is to smoke a cigarette to calm your nerves and then take a big swig of strong liquor to tone your muscles."

He may have proved that his World Class credentials were still intact, but Yashin was determined to properly atone for the mistakes in Chile, and he had the opportunity to do just that at the 1966 finals. The Soviet Union of the 1960s was the country's golden generation, with Yashin playing his part in the triumph at the inaugural European Championship in 1960 and runners-up spot at the 1964 tournament.

And at the 1966 World Cup, he was back to his best as the USSR reached their first, and thus far only, semi-final. He produced an impossible save against Hungary in the quarter-finals to ensure his side held on to a place in the last four, but was helpless as the Soviet Union lost to both West Germany and then Portugal in the third-place play-off.
Legends: USSR goalkeeper Lev Yashin and Portugal striker Eusebio meet at the 1966 finals
Yashin had salvaged his World Cup legacy, but the match against Portugal was to be his last at the finals. Though he was included in the 1970 squad - two years after receiving the Soviet Union's highest distinction, the Order of Lenin - it was Anzor Kavazashvili who would be the USSR's first choice stopper. With 75 caps to his name, retirement followed soon after, and 100,000 fans watched his farewell game, which featured the likes of Pele, Eusebio and Franz Beckenbauer.

After suffering complications from an earlier leg amputation, Yashin died in 1990, but his memory was preserved forever when FIFA established the Yashin Award ahead of the 1994 World Cup as an honour to be bestowed upon the goalkeeper considered the top performer at the finals.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest players in history, Yashin pioneered a new approach to goalkeeping and his legacy lives on through every stopper playing football today; commanding the area, communicating with the defence, punching away clearances and early distribution are commonplace now because of the Soviet Union legend. Yashin was, and remains, in the words of the great Eusebio, "the peerless goalkeeper of the century".

Lev Yashin

Los periodistas deportivos solían decir que cuando Lev Yashin jugaba al fútbol, los equipos no jugaban con cuatro defensas, lo hacían con dos, y tampoco tenían dos delanteros, sino que atacaban con cinco. Fue lejos, uno de los mejores porteros de la historia.

El fútbol de aquel entonces era completamente distinto al de ahora, para disgusto de los porteros, que se pasaban los partidos sacando balones de sus redes. Por esa razón es imposible utilizar las estadísticas de Lev Yahsin para afirmar que fue el mejor portero de la historia, ya que en 78 partidos internacionales recibió 70 goles.

Pero si no fue el mejor, estuvo muy cerca.
El arquero ruso Lev Yashin es considerado como uno de los mejores en la historia del fútbol.

Lyova Yashin nació en Moscú en 1929. Sus padres trabajaban en una fábrica de herramientas de la capital soviética. A los 13 años Yashin acompañaba a sus padres al trabajo, donde trabajaba como aprendiz. La fábrica tenía un pequeño equipo de fútbol y fue allí donde Lyova empezó a jugar. Se dice que él quería jugar de delantero, pero al ser el más alto de los chicos del equipo el entrenador le puso de portero.

Yashin jugó en varios equipos aficionados hasta que fue descubierto por un entrenador que le invitó a hacer una prueba para el Dínamo de Moscú. Durante casi 22 temporadas, Yashin formaría parte de uno de los dos conjuntos de la ciudad moscovita y por 14 años defendió la portería de la selección nacional.

A Yashin se le conocía mundialmente como la "araña negra", (en respuesta a su costumbre de vestir con uniformes totalmente negros) y se le consideraba ya entonces como el mejor portero del mundo. Cubría cada centímetro de su portería y sus saltos y estiradas eran motivo suficiente para ir al campo.

Como todos los grandes Yashin también revolucionó su papel en el fútbol. Fue uno de los primeros porteros en jugar con los pies, tanto dentro como fuera del área, cosa que hacía con frecuencia.

El récord de partidos jugados en la Liga soviética continúa hoy en día en su poder, con 326. Consiguió 13 títulos nacionales con el Dínamo, y con la selección de la Unión Soviética jugó 78 partidos, consiguiendo una medalla de oro olímpica, una Copa de Europa de selecciones nacionales y recibió el balón de oro al mejor jugador, siendo el primer portero en recibirlo.

Se dice, aunque no hay datos estadísticos para refrendarlo, que durante su carrera paró 150 penales. Se dice, y hay manera de asegurarlo, que fue una de las personalidades más notables debajo de los tres palos.

Con JA Samaranch

Juan Antonio Samaranch and Lev Yashin

Juan Antonio Samaranch y Lev Yashin

International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch (left) congratulating celebrated Soviet sportsman Lev Yashin (right), a former goal-keeper of the USSR soccer national team, on receiving an Olympic order.  

El presidente del Comité Olímpico Internacional Juan Antonio Samaranch (izquierda) saluda al deportista soviético Lev Yashin (derecha), el arquero de la selección nacional de la URSS, al recibir la Orden Olímpica.

Con Djalma Santos y Eusebio

Djalma Santos filming Lev Yashin and Eusebio, part of the 'Rest of the World XI' team, 1963.

Djalma Santos filmando a Lev Yashin y a Eusebio, parte del equipo de "Resto del Mundo XI", en 1963.

Djalma Santos filming Lev Yashin and Eusebio, part of the 'Rest of the World XI' team, 1963. An England versus a Rest of the World XI match was staged to mark the centenary of the Football Association. The star-studded opposition team featured Santos, Yashin and Eusebio and Pele.

Djalma Santos filmando a Lev Yashin y a Eusebio, parte del equipo de "Resto del Mundo XI", en 1963. El partido entre Inglaterra y Resto del Mundo XI fue puesto en escena por motivo del centenario de la FA. Algunos estalares jugadores del equipo rival eran Santos, Yashin, Eusebio y Pelé.