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Lev Yashin

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Yashin
Lev Ivanovich Yashin (22 October 1929 – 20 March 1990), nicknamed the "Black Spider" or the "Black Panther", was a Soviet-Russian football goalkeeper, considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game.
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Lev Yashin was born in Moscow on the 22 of October 1929, to a family of industrial workers. The family lived at 15 Millionnaya Street. The boy loved football since he was a child, and had been playing it with his friends for hours every day.

In his youth, Lev learned plumbing and worked on a factory in Moscow region. The Second World War found him in his young days, so Lev had to work for hours before he and others children could go to stadium, where Larionchikov, the trainer, trained the boys from the factory to play football. Larionchikov constantly put him on the gate, but Lev wanted to play as an attacker.

Сompetitive career of Lev Yashin began after his service in the army, when he was noticed by A.I. Chernyshev, the trainer of the «Dynamo» youth team. Yashin dreamed about playing in «Dynamo», so he gladly agreed to the offer. His first friendly match between «Traсtor» and «Dynamo» was unsuccessful for him - Yashin failed to make a save.

There were other failures, which seriously affected Lev Yashin’s career - since 1950 till 1952 he sat on the bench and almost never appeared on the field.
At this time, Lev decided to try himself in hockey, and achieved a lot in it. He became a master of sports, and with a team won the USSR Cup.
Yashin came back to «Dynamo» football team in 1954 and never let it down again. With his help, «Dynamo» won the championship of the Soviet Union four times in the period from 1954 till 1959.

International recognition came to the Soviet athlete in 1954, when Yashin entered the national football team of the Soviet Union. In the match with the Swedish national team, USSR won with a score 7:0. Yashin’s contribute was obvious in this match, he professionally defended the gate from multiple attacks.

The year 1963 was significant in the biography of Yashin - the Soviet Union national team played in a match dedicated to the 100th anniversary of English football. Lev Yashin was recognized as the best football player in Europe, and was awarded with the "Golden Ball" from the French sports edition.

The sportsman finished his career at the age of 42, after the game in Luzhniki Stadium on the 27-th of May 1971. After that, Yashin continued to work in the sports committee of Moscow, and later was awarded by the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.

On March 18, 1990 Lev Yashin was awarded a title of Hero of Socialist Labor, which he wore only for two days. Lev died on Tuesday, March 20, after complications caused by smoking and continuing gangrene.

Currently, three monuments to Lev Yashin are installed in Moscow: at the Dynamo stadium, Luzhniki Stadium and Vagankovskoye cemetery.
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