Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ukraine All-time 23 member team

This is my selection of Ukraine's All-time 23 member team.  The team consisted players from both the former Soviet Union and independent Ukraine. 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


Ukraine 2006
Ukrainian players were the backbone of the Soviet national team in the 1980's.  Valeriy Lobanovskyi who spent nearly 17 seasons as the manger of Dynamo Kyiv was instrumental in putting Ukraine on the football map.   With Dynamo Kyiv, he led them to victory at the 1975 and 1986 Cup Winners' Cup. The 1975 edition was the first major European trophy won by a Soviet club.  With the national team, he invented a Soviet version of Total Football that emphasized with collective football.  They were one of the most exciting team at WC 1986 and then, stormed to second place at Euro 1988 two years later.  After independence, Ukraine qualified for the 2006 World Cup Finals and reached the quarter final.  

The three Ukrainians who won the European Player of the Year award
Team
GK: Oleh Makarov
He played for Dynamo Kyiv from 1948 to 1953.  He was voted as the second best keeper on the Ukraine Team of the Century after Yevhen Rudakov. He was capped once for the USSR.

GK: Oleksandr Shovkovskiy
 He was capped 92 times between 1994 and 2012.  He was the first-choice keeper for Ukraine at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and teh Euro 2012.  He won the penalty shootout against Switzerland in the round of 16.  He spent his entire career with Dynamo Kyiv.

GK: Viktor Bannikov
He was the Soviet Keeper of the Year in 1964 and 1970.   In 1968 he made a record that never was broken in the Soviet football by goalkeeping for 1122 minutes without conceding a single goal.  He spent most of his career with Dynamo Kyiv.  Having a great career at the club level, his international record was kind of shaky.  He was Lev Yashin's backup during the WC Finals in 1966.   He never impressed in any of his national team games.

RB: Vladimir Bessonov
He won 79 caps and scored 4 goals for the Soviet Union from 1977 to 1990.  He went to the WC Finals in 1982, 1986 and 1990. He was one of the best fullbacks in Soviet football history.
 
CB/RB: Oleh Luzhnyi 
He played for the USSR before the collapse of the Soviet Union.  He played 59 times for Ukraine and captained them for 39 times.  He was a key defender during Dynamo Kyiv's run the Champions' League during the 1990's.

CB: Mykhaylo Fomenko
He was capped 24 times by the Soviet Union.  He was voted into the Ukrainian Team of the Century in 2000.  He won the 1975 Cup Winners' Cup with Dynamo Kyiv.

CB: Anatoliy Konkov
He was best remembered for winning the 1975 Cup Winners' Cup with Dynamo Kyiv.  He was capped 47 times for the Soviet Union.

SW: Sergei Baltacha
He won  the 1975 Cup Winners' Cup with Dynamo Kyiv.  he played in the 1982 for Soviet Union and then, on the runner-up team at Euro 1988.
 
CB: Oleg Kuznetsov
He was capped by the USSR, the CIS and Ukraine.  He was a star defender for the Soviet Union in the late 1980's.  He helped them to reach the Final of the Euro 1988.  He also played in the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990, and then, for CIS in the Euro 1992.  

LB: Anatoliy Demyanenko
He was a longtime Dynamo Kyiv captain and a prolific left wingback for the Soviet Union.  He played in three WC Finals(1982, 1986 and 1990) and reached the Final of Euro 1988. In 2000,  he was voted the 3rd best player in the Ukrainian 'Team of the Century".
Anatoliy Demyanenko
LB: Yuriy Istomin
He played for the Soviet Union at the Euro 1972 where they finished 2nd. He was Ukrainian, but spent most of his career with CSKA Moscow.

RW: Hennadiy Lytovchenko
He was the Soviet Player of the Year in 1984.  He was capped by the USSR for 58 times and by Ukraine for 4 times.  He was a star player at Euro 1988.  The highlights of his club career were played in FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiacos F.C.

AM:  Oleksandr Zavarov
He helped Dynamo Kyiv in winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1985-1986.  He finished as the top scorer of the tournament and won the Soviet player of the Year award that year.  He 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.

He was capped 36 for the USSR and 5 times for CIS. He was a part of the Soviet squad that finished second at Euro 88.  He became the Soviet Player of the Year in 1988 after the tournament.  He was also capped twice by Ukraine.  He became one of the first Soviet player to play successfully aboard when he joined Sampdoria and then, Rangers in the 1990's.
Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko
LW: Volodymyr Onyshchenko
He earned 44 caps for the USSR national football team, and participated in UEFA Euro 1972, and won two Olympic bronze medals. He won the 1975 Cup Winners' Cup with Dynamo Kyiv.

AM:  Andriy Biba
He was considered one of the best players in Dynamo Kyiv's history.  He was the Soviet Player of the Year in 1966.  He earned a single cap for the USSR during a match against Brazil and Pele.

FW:  Valeriy Lobanovskyi
Probably best remembered as the coach that put both Soviet Union and Ukraine on the map.  As a player, he was considered to be Dynamo Kyiv's greatest player.  He was most famous for his legendary ability to score from corner kicks.  He was capped twice.

SS: Igor Belanov 
He made a name for himself at Dynamo Kyiv, winning five major titles and being named European Footballer of the Year in 1986.  He played for the Soviet Union at the WC Finals in 1986, where he was one of the star players.  He is considered one of the greatest Ukrainian player in history.

Igor Belanov 
SS: Oleg Blokhin
He was probably the greatest outfielder in Soviet history. He was the European Player of the Year in 1975.  He holds the all-time top goalscorer record for both Dynamo Kyiv (266 goals) and the Soviet Union national team (42 goals), as well as being the overall top goalscorer in the history of the Soviet Top League (211 goals). He is also the only player to have been capped over 100 times for the Soviet Union and holds Dynamo's appearance record with 582 appearances during his 18 year spell at the club.
Oleg Blokhin

ST: Oleh Protasov
He was named Soviet Footballer of the Year in 1987. He scored 125 goals in the Soviet Championship, making him the 8th best scorer of all-time of the Championship.  He played for the Soviet Union 68 times, including at the 1986 and 1990 FIFA World Cups, as well as Euro 88, where he scored two goals.  He played for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Dynamo Kyiv, Olympiacos Piraeus, Gamba Osaka, Veria FC, and finally Proodeftiki FC.

ST: Serhiy Rebrov
He gained international fame as an attacking partner of Andriy Shevchenko at Dynamo Kyiv throughout the 1990s.  He also played in England and Turkey.  He was capped 75 times by Ukraine, scoring 15 goals. He played in the nation's first ever World Cup, in 2006.
In 2011, Vitaly Starukhin, together with Oleg Blohin and Igor Belanov was named as "the legends of Ukrainian football" at the Victory of Football awards.  He was considered to be the greatest player for Shakhtar Donetsk.  He was capped once by USSR.

ST: Andrei Shevchenko 
He is considered one of the greatest Ukrainian player in history.  He won the Ballon D'Or in 2004 and came 3rd on the World Player of the Year.  He was best remembered for his stint with AC Milan, winning the Champions' League in 2003.  He won 111 caps and scored 48 goals for the Ukraine.

Andrei Shevchenko 

Honorable Mention
Vasily Turyanchik, Valeriy Lobanovskyi, Serhiy Rebrov.

Squad Explanation
-- All the Soviet players were selected through ethnicity and the players after the collapse of the Soviet Union were based upon the national team they chose. A few of the star players from Dynamo Kyiv during the era were not of Ukrainian ethnicity.  I put them on the rest of the former Soviet Union all-time teamAll players who represented the Ukrainian national team are eligible for this team.
-- Yevhen Rudakov is an ethnic Russian born in Moscow. So I put him on the all-time Russian teaam.
-- Volodymyr Kaplychnyi and Leonid Buryak are Jewish.  I put them on the rest of the Soviet Union team
-- Volodymyr Muntyan is Romanian and Vasyl Rats is Hungarian.
-- UkrainianViktor Onopko chose to play for Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Starting lineup
Formation I: 4-1-3-2
I based this lineup on the 4-3-2 formation used by Valeriy Lobanovskyi on at the 1986 Cup-Winners' Cup Final.  In order to bring Shenvchenko to the team, I pushed Blokhin to the midfield on the left.



Formation II: 4-3-3
Ideally, I want to play a dream forward line of Blokhin-Shevchenko-Belanov. I played Baltacha in the mdifeld to protect the midfield.



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


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