With the 2018 World Cup in Russia already in the memory of all football fans in the world and having been considered as the greatest success in the history of FIFA at the organizational level, we are going to investigate a little more in old times for remember one of the legendary figures of this noble sport, the Russian Lev Yashin: The Black Spider.
Who was Lev Yashin?
He is considered as the best goalkeeper in the history of football, unbeaten in 270 matches and 150 penaltis stopped, has been the only goalkeeper in history to have the Golden Ball. Despite his impressive achievements to reach the top was an arduous road . Lev Yashin was born the 22 of October of 1929, in the bosom of a humble family. At first, his passion was ice hockey but at 17 years, he began his relationship with football, having to replace a goalkeeper in a friendly match. The emotion he felt between the clubs, led him into the arms of this noble sport.
Its beginning was plagued with difficulties. In Dynamo Moscow, the team where he played in all his 22 seasons, he made ridiculous mistakes and shameful mistakes that provoked the mockery of the fans and his own teammates. In one of the matches, he accidentally collided with one of the defenders of his team, prompting an own goal. This was the last straw for some officials of the OGPU, (secret police of the USSR) who were about to expel him.
From 1949 to 1953, he was a substitute on the bench. But Lev, he did not give up, kept training and improving his skills. Thanks to the hard training with his trainer Alexei, "el Tigre" Jómich, the one who was a despised goalkeeper became a living legend.
The techniques and methods used by Yashin are applied by the goalkeepers at present. For example, the use of gloves, the color black on the uniform (hence the nickname of Black Spider), and the rival's strategic study to coordinate the defense and analyze the opponent.
In addition to his mental qualities, he had an impressive physique, reflexes and a sense of almost supernatural anticipation. Such was the terror felt by the opponents forwards against Yashin, that the lucky one who managed to fit a goal, had to apologize to the Soviet goalkeeper for such an offense.
As custodian of the 3 clubs, the USSR won gold at the Olympic Games in Melbourne and the European Championship at 1960. He played three World Cups; 1958 in Sweden, 1962 in Chile and 1966 in Germany where the USSR stayed in 4 instead. In recognition of his impressive career, he received the accolade that no goalkeeper has received until today, Golden Ball in 1963.
The 27 of 1971 May played his last game with the sports society of Dinamo Moscow against the team of the "Rest of the World", formed by football legends like Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, the English Robert Charlton and German Gerhard Müller, who did not they could score in the goal defended by the Black Spider. At the end of the match, Lev Yashin handed his gloves to Uruguayan goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, considered at that time the best goalkeeper in South America and proclaimed him his successor.
After a golden retirement, the legendary goalkeeper died on March 20 of 1990, in a surgery due to stomach cancer. In his honor, a monument was erected on the walk of fame of the Luzhnikí stadium, where he played his entire sports career at Dinamo Moscow.
His legacy is still alive today and now and after the World Russia 2018, he is remembered more than ever.
Here you have a video, dear Russian Lover, with many of his best interventions: