Oleksandr Zavarov

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox football biography

Oleksandr Anatoliyovych Zavarov, also spelt Aleksandr Anatoljević Zavarov (Template:Lang-uk, Template:Lang-ru) – (born 26 April 1961 in Luhansk, Ukrainian SSR) is a former Ukrainian football midfielder and the former head coach at FC Arsenal Kyiv. In 1986, he was named the best footballer in the USSR and Ukraine and the 6th best footballer in Europe according to France Football. Zavarov is widely regarded to be among the greatest footballers in the history of the USSR and Ukraine, and in 2000 he was included in the Ukrainian Team of The Century according to a poll by the Ukrainsky Futbol weekly.

In 2015, he refused to join the Ukrainian army in the Donbass conflict, as he did not want to see war where he grew up.[1]

Club career

Zavarov started off his career in his home city of Zorya Luhansk. He played in the USSR Premier League for Zorya Luhansk (1977–79, 1982), and also SKA Rostov (1980–81). In 1983–88, he played for the Soviet-Ukrainian giants, Dynamo Kyiv, with whom he won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1985–86, scoring in the final itself. Zavarov later played for Juventus between 1988 and 1990, winning the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup under Dino Zoff, wearing the number 10 shirt which had formerly belonged to club legend Michel Platini,[2] although he later switched to the number 9 shirt.[3] He subsequently transferred to Nancy in 1990, where he remained for five seasons, before finally moving to Saint-Dizier in 1995, retiring after three seasons, in 1998.

International career

Zavarov had 41 caps for the USSR, scoring six goals including two in the World Cup finals in 1986 and 1990. He also played in the Euro 1988 in which the USSR team were runners-up.

Style of play

A creative, quick, agile and skilful midfielder,[4][5] Zavarov was primarily known for his excellent technical ability, two-footedness, stamina, and tactical intelligence, and was usually deployed as an attacking midfielder or as a supporting striker, although he was also capable of playing as a deep-lying playmaker, due to his versatility, vision, and long passing accuracy.[6][7][8] Zavarov played a key role in Valeri Lobanovski's successes with Dynamo Kyiv, and his dribbling skills and playmaking ability led his Dynamo Kyiv coach to compare him to Diego Maradona.[6][7]

Despite the talent he demonstrated with Dynamo Kyiv and at Euro 1988,[5] and his reputation as one of the greatest players to ever come out of the Soviet Union,[9] his time with Juventus was less successful, and he failed to live up to initial expectations in Serie A.[4][10][11] Due to his inconsistent displays and his lack of accuracy in front of goal,[11][12] he drew criticism from the press, who also singled out his surprisingly poor work-rate and movement off the ball;[8][10] he was also accused of lacking confidence,[11] and of not being an effective assist-provider for the team.[13] Because of his timid character, it was also argued that he lacked the necessary leadership skills to carry the team,[11] and fill the void left by Michel Platini in the advanced midfield playmaking role during the post-Trapattoni crisis.[2]

Managerial career

Zavarov began his coaching career with Saint Dizier CO as a player-coach. He had a short spell as a head coach of FC Wil in 2003–04, however because he lacked the necessary UEFA licence, he was given the position of director of football with the club. He is currently manager of Ukrainian team Arsenal Kyiv.

Career statistics

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 9 June 1986 Estadio Sergio León Chavez, Irapuato, Mexico Template:Fb 2–0 Win 1986 FIFA World Cup
2. 29 April 1987 Republican Stadium, Kiev, Soviet Union Template:Fb 2–0 Win UEFA Euro 1988 qualifying
3. 3 June 1987 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway Template:Fb 0–1 Win UEFA Euro 1988 qualifying
4. 31 March 1988 Olympiastadion, West Berlin, West Germany Template:Fb 2–4 Win Four Nations Tournament
5. 19 October 1988 Republican Stadium, Kiev, Soviet Union Template:Fb 2–0 Win 1990 World Cup qual.
6. 18 June 1990 Stadio San Nicola, Bari, Italy Template:Fb 0–4 Win 1990 FIFA World Cup
Correct as of 21 May 2016[14]



Dynamo Kyiv





Soviet Union


Ballon d'Or



External links

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