Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The former Soviet Union without Ukraine and Russia

This is my all-time team for the former Soviet Union (excluding Ukraine and Russia)If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Latvia 2004

I created two other all-time teams for Ukraine and Russia.  This is the all-time team for the former Republic of the Soviet Union, excluding Ukraine and Russia.  I excluded all Central Asian republics that played in the AFC.  Those players were selected for the all-time time for West and Central Asia here. The Soviet-era players were based on ethnicity.  Several Ukrainian-born players were put here rather than with Ukraine's all-time team.  The post-Soviet Union was based on the national team.  

Russia and Ukraine dominated Soviet football before the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Georgia was probably the third most important republic.  Dinamo Tobilisi won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1981.  A number of Georgian players were capped by the USSR.  After the breakup, however, it was Latvia that first qualified for a major tournament(Euro 2004).  

Team
GK:Anzor Kavazashvili (Georgia)
He played for Soviet Union 29 matches, and was a participant at the 1966 FIFA World Cup and 1970 FIFA World Cup.

GK: Otar Gabelia (Georgia)
He is a hero in Georgia after Dinamo Tobilisi won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981.  He was capped twice for the USSR.

GK: Mart Poom (Estonia)
He was Estonia Player of the Year in 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2003.  He spent nearly 15 seasons in England.
  
RB: Revaz Dzodzuashvili (Georgia)
He earned 49 caps for the USSR, and participated in the 1970 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 1972. He also earned a bronze medal in football at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

CB: Anatoliy Banishevskiy (Azerbaijan)
He was selected as the Golden Player for Azerbaijan by the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan as the country's most outstanding player over the past 50 years.  He was capped 50 times by USSR and went to the WC Finals in 1966.

CB: Aleksandre Chivadze (Georgia)
He spent his entire club career at FC Dinamo Tbilisi, playing from 1974 to 1987. He was a part of the great Dinamo Tbilisi side that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981.  He earned 46 caps for the USSR  and was included in the squads of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

Aleksandre Chivadze

CB: Volodymyr Kaplychnyi (Jewish born in Ukraine)
Born in what is now Ukraine of Jewish ethnicity.  He earned 62 caps for the USSR, and participated in UEFA Euro 1968, the 1970 FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Euro 1972. He also earned a bronze medal in football at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He spent most of his career with CSKA Moscow.

CB: Murtaz Khurtsilava (Georgia)
He was part of the USSR  that finished second in the 1972 UEFA European Championship, third at the 1972 Summer Olympics and fourth at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. He was also one of only two Georgians, alongside Alexandre Chivadze, to have captained the Soviet team. At the club level he played for FC Dynamo Tbilisi.

LB: Kakha Kaladze (Georgia)
He was a part of Dynmamo Kyiv that dominated the domestic league and amde the semifinal of the Champions' league in the 1990's.  He also played for AC Milan, where he won two Champions' League in 2003 and 2007.  He was Georgian Player of the Year for 5 times. 
Kakha Kaladze 
AM/CM:  Vitaly Daraselia (Georgia)
He scored the winning goal at the 1981 the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final that gave Dinamo Tobilisi its greatest victory.  He played in the 1982 WC Finals for the USSR.  He died shorty after the Finals.

LW:  Mikheil Meskhi (Georgia)
Nicknamed the "Georgian Garrincha".  He earned 35 caps for the USSR and participated in the 1962 World Cup. He also appeared on the Soviet squad for the first ever European Nations' Cup in 1960, which the Soviets won. In 1998, Meskhi was voted the best player in the history of Georgian football.
  
DM:  Vasyl Rats (born in Ukraine of Hungarian ethnicity)
He scored the winning goal in the 1-0 victory against Holland in the first round of Euro 1988, but Holland went on to beat the Soviet Union in the rematch in the Final.  He was capped 47 times for the Soviet Union.  He participated at the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990.

CM: Khoren Oganesian (Armenia)
He was chosen as the best player of Armenia in the 20th century by the Armenian FA.  He was 34 caps by USSR.  In 1982, he became the first Armenian to play in the WC finals.

Khoren Oganesian

CM:  Volodymyr Muntyan (born in Ukraine of Romanian ethnicity)
He played his entire career with Dynamo Kyiv.  He won the 1975 Cup Winners' Cup with Dynamo Kyiv.  He played 49 times for the Soviet Union.

AM/CM: Leonid Buryak (born in Ukraine of Jewish ethnicity)
He was one of Dynamo Kyiv's greatest players.  He was capped 49 times for the USSR. He won a bronze medal at the 1976 Olympics and went to the WC Finals in 1982.

AM: Alexander Hleb (Belarus)
He is best remembered for his stints with Stuttgart and Arsenal.  In the Bundesliga, he was among the top assisters, which led to a big transfer to Arsenal in 2005.  He became the first ever Belarusian footballer to play in the Champions League Final while playing for Arsenal.

AM: Georgi Kinkladze (Georgia) 
He was one of the first star players for Georgia after its independence.He was capped 57 times for Georgia.  He is bestremembered for his stint with Manchester City, where he starred for three seasons.

AM: David Kipiani (Georgia)
He was named Soviet Footballer of the Year in 1977. He was a part of the great Dinamo Tobilisi side that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981 that put Georgia on the football map.  However, injuries kept him from playing more for the Soviet Union.  He was only capped 19 times.

David Kipiani

LW: Galimzyan Khusainov (Tartarstan)
He played for the Soviet Union national team (33 matches/4 goals), and was a participant at the 1962 FIFA World Cup, 1966 FIFA World Cup and at the 1964 European Nations' Cup, where the Soviet Union squad won the silver medal, despite his goal in the final.


ST:  Vladimir Gutsaev (Georgia)
He was capped 11 times by the USSR.  He was also part of  Dinamo Tobilisi side that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981.

ST: Māris Verpakovskis (Latvia)
He was capped 104 times by Latvia. He helped Latvia to qualify for the European Championship, 2004, the first country from the former Soviet Union that is not Russia to qualify for the Finals of a major tournament.  He was voted as the best player at Dynamo Kyiv in 2004.

ST Nikita Simonyan (Armenia)
He is the top scorer in the history of the club Spartak Moscow at 160 goals, and is also the top scorer in the Soviet Top League at 133 goals.  He was the Soviet captain at the WC Finals in 1958.  He was capped 20 times.

ST/RW:  Slava Metreveli (Georgia)
He played for Soviet Union for 48 times, and was a participant at the 1962 FIFA World Cup, 1966 FIFA World Cup, 1970 FIFA World Cup and at the 1960 UEFA European Football Championship, where the Soviet Union won the gold medal. In the latter, he scored in the final against Yugoslavia as they won 2-1.

ST/RW: Ramaz Shengelia (Georgia)
He was capped 26 times bu USSR.  He went to play in the WC in Spain, where he scored a goal against Scotland.  He was named Soviet Footballer of the Year in 1981. He was a part of the great Dinamo Tobilisi side that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981. 

Ramaz Shengelia

Honorable Mention
Konstantin Krizhevsky (Jewish from Russia), Arkady Andreasyan (Armenia), Sergei Gurenko (Belarus), Eduard Markarov (Armenia), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia).

Squad Explanation
  • I created two other all-time team for Ukraine and Russia.  The Soviet-era players were based on ethnicity.  The post-Soviet Union was based on the national team. 
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan has established himself at Borussia Dortmund.  At the time of writing, he is making a name with Manchester United.  He would one day make this team, I believed.
  • I selected a lot of players from the Dinamo Tobilisi side that won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981. I believe that side put Georgia on the football map and introduce the world of football to the Soviet Union outside of Russia and Ukraine. 
  •  Māris Verpakovskis was rewarded for Latvia qualifying for the Euro 2004, the first time a nation side other than Russia qualified for a major tournament.
  •  I also considered Konstantin Krizhevsky (Jewish from Russia), Arkady Andreasyan (Armenia), Sergei Gurenko (Belarus), Eduard Markarov (Armenia).
  •  Vasyl Rats is an ethic Hungarian while Volodymyr Muntyan is Romanian.
  • Maksim Shatskikh played for Uzbekistan, which is a part of AFC. He is on this all-time team.
  •  
Starting Lineup
Formation: 4-3-3
Only two of the starters are not from Georgria.  Leonid Buryak probably could start ahead of David Kipiani.



Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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