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Ihor Belanov
Personal information
Full name Ihor Ivanovych Belanov
Date of birth September 25, 1960 (1960-09-25) (age 49)
Place of birth    Odessa, Soviet Union
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 8+12 in)
Playing position Second Striker
Youth career
1973–1978 Chornomorets Odessa
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
SKA Odessa
Chornomorets Odessa
Dynamo Kyiv
Borussia M'gladbach
Eintracht Braunschweig
Chornomorets Odessa
Metalurh Mariupol
068 (16)
116 (26)
158 (54)
024 0(4)
089 (28)
003 0(1)
005 0(4)   
National team
1985–1990 USSR 033 0(8)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Ihor Ivanovych (or Ivanovich) Belanov (Ukrainian: Ігор Іванович Беланов, Russian: Игорь Иванович Беланов), (born September 25, 1960) is a former Soviet and Ukrainian football striker, who was named European Footballer of the Year in 1986. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine, then part of the USSR.


Club career

Belanov played professionally in his country for SKA Odessa, FC Chornomorets Odessa and FC Dynamo Kyiv, with whom he won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1986. Mid-way through 1989, he got the long-awaited clearance to join a Western European side, making a move to Germany to join Borussia Mönchengladbach. His debut in the German league came on November 4, 1989, in a 0-4 away defeat by VfB Stuttgart, but he failed to impress overall, netting only four times in his one 1/2 season stint, and moved to second level's Eintracht Braunschweig in January 1991, after his wife had been involved in a shoplifting affair.

Belanov made his debut for his new club on February 23, and went on to score 13 goals in the second division. In 1995, he returned home to Chernomorets for one season, retiring at almost 37 after a spell with FC Illychivets Mariupol.

International career

Belanov played 33 times for the USSR, and scored eight goals. His best performance came at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where he scored four goals and assisted six times, as the team (which comprised 13 Dynamo Kyiv players) reached the Round of 16. He scored a hat-trick in the game against Belgium, in a losing extra-time effort (3-4).

This performance at the World Cup, along with Dynamo’s Cup Winners' Cup success, helped Belanov win the European Footballer of the Year award. He was also part of the squad that reached the final of UEFA Euro 1988, where the national side faced Holland. With the score at 0-2, USSR were awarded a penalty. Belanov took it, but saw goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen stop the shot, as the score remained unaltered.


Belanov turned to business after finishing his playing career. He returned to prominence when he became the majority shareholder at Switzerland’s FC Wil, in August 2003. His predecessor, banker Andreas Hafen, had been given a five-years imprisonment sentence after embezzling 51 million Swiss francs ($40 million) from the UBS Bank.

Belanov’s first move at Wil was replacing first-team manager Martin Andermatt with his former Dynamo Kyiv team-mate Aleksandr Zavarov, not taking note of the fact that Zavarov lacked the necessary UEFA licence to manage a European top-division outfit. That circumstance forced Belanov to sign former FC Karl-Marx-Stadt manager Joachim Müller. Due to the appointment of Müller, Zavarov’s job was officially described as Director of football. Müller did not last long as coach however, as Belanov sacked him just after three months, replacing him with Tomas Matejcek.

Matejcek’s strict training regiment caused a quick revolt amongst Wil players. This forced Belanov to make amend for his decisions and to re-appoint Müller as manager, and hand the assistant-manager role to former Swiss international goalkeeper Stephan Lehmann. Those turned out to be Belanov’s last series of actions as Wil’s major shareholder as, in a quick sequence, he pulled out of his chairman and shareholder role of the Swiss side.

Additionally, Belanov is also the owner of a football school in Odessa which carries his name.






  1. ^ "Cup Winners Cup Top Scorers". RSSSF. Retrieved September 15, 2008.  

External links


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