Thursday, 6 May 2010

Football Art

Valeriy Vasylyovych Lobanovskyi was the Ukrainian answer to Clough, Shankly and Stein. He played just over two hundred and fifty games for Dynamo Kyiv, Chornomorets Odessa and Shakhtar Donetsk, winning two Soviet caps in the process, but most of his success came as manager of Kiev. Between 1974 and 1990, Dynamo won the Soviet Super League eight times, the domestic cup six times and the European Cup Winners' Cup twice. He coached the USSR to the second round of Mexico '86 and to second place behind Holland in the 1988 European Championships, before leaving in the wake of his side's poor performance at Italia '90. In 1997, after seven years in the Middle East, he returned to Kiev, coaching a Dynamo team including Andriy Shevchenko and Serhiy Rebrov to the Champions League semi-final in 1999. When he died of a stroke in 2002, shortly after a game against Zaporizhia, the Dynamo Stadium was renamed in his honour. The following year Shevchenko flew home from Milan and placed his Champions League medal on Lobanovskyi's grave.

A uniformed security guard was hovering around as we stood by the scuplture. "Want a picture on the seat? It's 50 hryvnia," he said, pointing to the sign, "but I'll let you take one for twenty." "It's ok, thanks," we replied. "Ok, ten," he countered. "No, it's ok," we said, looking towards a half-open stadium gate. "It's closed," he said. "The exit's that way."

No comments:

Post a Comment