Lawmakers representing the Russian parliamentary majority party have drafted a bill introducing a new commemorative date “Russian Football Day” marked on October 22, the birthday of the legendary Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin.
MP Dmitry Belik (United Russia) told fellow lawmakers on Thursday that the new motion, while paying the tribute of respect and gratitude to the past, would also give the current and future generations of football players and fans an impetus for developing.
Belik also said that the “historical achievements” of the Russian national team at the ongoing World Cup 2018 championship had united the whole country and also must stimulate the development of football and sports in general throughout Russia.
He also explained the choice of the date by saying that Lev Yashin had a unique achievement – he spent 22 seasons in one Dynamo Moscow club and was the first goalkeeper in the Soviet Union to participate in 100 games without allowing opposing teams to score a single goal.
“This is why October 22, Lev Yashin’s birthday, must become a commemorative date for all Russian citizens as the love to football of people of all ages is well known,” the MP concluded.
Lev Yashin has been named the best goalkeeper of the 20th century by FIFA. He played for Dynamo Moscow between 1950 and 1971 and for the Soviet Union’s national team between 1954 and 1967. He was five-times champion of the Soviet Union, once the European champion and three times he played in the World Cup finals. In 1963 Yashin received the French Ballon d’Or award and to this day remains the only goalkeeper who had one.
Yashin’s portrait was placed on the official poster of the 2018 World Cup that is currently underway in Russia. The Russian team made it to the quarter-finals of the championship but lost to Croatia – one of the teams that will play for gold on Sunday.
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