Soviet Union national football team: Wikis

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Soviet Union
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Red Army
Association Football Federation of USSR
Most caps Oleg Blokhin (112)
Top scorer Oleg Blokhin (42)
FIFA code URS
Highest Elo ranking 1 (1963, 1966, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1987-88)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
 Soviet Union 3 - 0 Turkey 
(Moscow, USSR; 16 November 1924)
Last international

 Cyprus 0 - 3 Soviet Union 
(Larnaca, Cyprus; 13 November 1991)
Biggest win
 Soviet Union 11 - 1 India 
(Moscow, USSR; 16 September 1955)
 Finland 0 - 10 Soviet Union 
(Helsinki, Finland; 15 August 1957)
Biggest defeat
 England 5 - 0 Soviet Union 
(London, England; 22 October 1958)
World Cup
Appearances 7 (First in 1958)
Best result Fourth place, 1966
European Championship
Appearances 5 (First in 1960)
Best result Winners, 1960
Olympic medal record
Men’s Football
Gold 1956 Melbourne Team
Bronze 1972 Munich Team
Bronze 1976 Montreal Team
Bronze 1980 Moscow Team
Gold 1988 Seoul Team

The Soviet Union national football team was the national football team of the Soviet Union. It ceased to exist on the break up of the Union.[1] FIFA considers the CIS national football team (and ultimately, the Russia national football team) as its successor team[2] allocating its former records to them; nevertheless, a large percentage of the team's former players came from outside the Russian SFSR, mainly from the Ukrainian SSR, and following the break up of the Soviet Union, some such as Andrei Kanchelskis from the former Ukrainian SSR continued to serve in the new Russia national football team.

The Soviet Union failed to qualify for the World Cup only twice, in 1974 and 1978, and attended seven finals tournaments in total. Their best finish was fourth in 1966, when they lost to West Germany in the semifinals, 2-1. The USSR qualified for five European Championships, winning the inaugural competition in 1960 when they beat Yugoslavia in the final, 2-1. They finished second three times (1964, 1972, 1988), and fourth once (1968), when, having drawn with Italy in the semi-final, they were sent to the third place playoff match by the loss of a coin toss. The Soviet Union also won the gold medal in the 1956 and 1988 Summer Olympics, the inaugural World Youth Championship in 1977, and the Under-16 World Championship in 1987.

Contents

History

Soviet Union national football team against Trinidad and Tobago in 1982.

The first international match played by a Soviet team came in August 1923, nine months after the establishment of the Soviet Union, when a Russian SFSR team beat Sweden 2-1 in Stockholm.[3] The first formally recognised match played by the Soviet Union took place a year later, a 3-0 win over Turkey. This and a return match in Ankara were the only officially recognised international matches played by the USSR prior to the 1952 Summer Olympics, though several unofficial friendlies against Turkey took place in the 1930s. The 1952 Olympics was the first competitive tournament entered by the USSR. In the preliminary round, Bulgaria were defeated 2-1, earning a first round tie against Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia led 5-1, but a Soviet comeback in the last 15 minutes resulted in a 5-5 draw. The match was replayed, Yugoslavia winning 3-1.[4]

The USSR entered the World Cup for the first time at the 1958 tournament, following a qualification playoff against Poland.[5] Drawn in a group with Brazil, England and Austria, they collected three points in total, one from England and two from Austria. USSR and England went to a playoff game, in which Anatoli Ilyin scored in the 67th minute to knock England out. The USSR were then eliminated by the hosts of the tournament, Sweden, in the quarter-finals.

The inaugural European Championships in 1960 marked the pinnacle of Soviet footballing achievement. Easily progressing to the quarter-finals, the team were scheduled to face Spain, but due to the tensions of the Cold War, Spain refused to travel to the Soviet Union, resulting in a walkover. In the semi-final, the Soviet team defeated Czechoslovakia 3-0 and reached the final, where they faced Yugoslavia.

In the final, Yugoslavia scored first, but the Soviet Union, led by legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin, equalized in the 49th minute. After 90 minutes the score was 1-1, and Viktor Ponedelnik scored with seven minutes left in extra time to give the Soviets the inaugural European Championship.

In the 1962 FIFA World Cup, the Soviet team was in Group 1 with Yugoslavia, Colombia and Uruguay. The match between USSR and Colombia ended 4- 4; Colombia scored a series of goals (68’, 72’, 86’). Star goalkeeper Lev Yashin was in poor form both against Colombia and Chile. His form was considered as one of the main reasons why USSR team did not gain more success in the tournament.

In 1964, the USSR attempted to defend their European Championship title, defeating Italy in the Eighth-finals (2-0, 1-1) and to reach the quarter-finals. After two matches against Sweden, the Soviet side won on aggregate (1-1, 3-1). The USSR team went to Spain where the finals were held. In the semi-finals, the Soviet Union defeated the Danes 3-0 in Barcelona but their dreams of winning the title again were dashed when they lost the final against Spain, the hosts.

The 1966 FIFA World Cup was the tournament which the USSR team reached their best result by finishing the cup as the fourth. USSR was in the Group 4 with North Korea, Italy and Chile. In all three matches, the USSR team managed to defeat their rivals. The Soviet team then defeated Hungary in the quarter-finals thanks to the effective performance of their star, Lev Yashin but their success was ended by two defeats on 25 and 28 July, against West Germany in the semi-finals and Portugal in the third place play off match, respectively. The 1966 squad was the second best scoring Soviet team in the World Cup history, scoring 10 goals.

For the 1968 European Championships, the qualification competition was played in two stages; a group stage (taking place from 1966 until 1968) and the quarter-finals (played in 1968). Again, only four teams could reach the finals which were held in Italy. The semi-final match between USSR and Italy ended 0-0. It was decided to toss a coin to see who reached the final, rather than play a replay. Italy won, and went on to become European champions. On 8 June, the Soviets were defeated by England in the third place match.

The 1970 FIFA World Cup started with the match between Mexico and the USSR. The Soviet team became the first team to make a substitution in World Cup history in this match. Other opponents in their group were Belgium and El Salvador. The Soviet team easily qualified to the quarter-final where they lost against Uruguay in extra time. This was the last time the USSR reached the quarter-finals.

The final tournament of the 1972 European Championships took place between 14 June and 18 June 1972. Again, only four teams were in the finals. Soviets defeated Hungary 1-0, a second half goal. The final was between West Germany and USSR. The match ended with a victory of the German side thanks to the effective football of Gerd Müller. This tournament was one of the two tournaments in which the USSR finished as runner-up. The rest of the 1970s were bleak for the Soviets, who were disqualified from the 1974 FIFA World Cup as a result of refusal to play Chile in the aftermath of the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, and failed to qualify for the 1978 FIFA World Cup or the 1976 and 1980 European Championships.

The 1982 FIFA World Cup was the USSR's first major tournament appearance for a decade. The USSR was in Group 6 with Brazil, Scotland and New Zealand. Goals by Socrates and Eder marked the defeat of the Soviet side against Brazil in the first group match, and they were eventually eliminated in the Second Round by finishing the group in second place, when they defeated Belgium only 1-0 and drew Poland, 0-0. In 1984 the Soviets again failed to qualify for the European Championships, but succeeded in qualifying for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. USSR were in Group C with Hungary, France and Canada. Soviet team enjoyed a successful group stage by scoring nine goals and finishing the group in the first place. It seemed like the Soviet side managed to forget their unsuccessful performance in 1982, but they lost to Belgium 3-4, amid referee controversies, in the round of 16. Despite their poor performance in the cup, USSR team was the best scoring Soviet team in the World Cup history, by scoring 12 goals.

After failing to qualify for three consecutive times (1976, 1980, 1984), the Soviets managed to qualify for the 1988 competition, the last time the USSR national football team took part in the European Football Championship. The finals were held in West Germany. Eight teams were participating this time. USSR finished Group B as leaders above the Netherlands and reached the semi-finals. There, the Soviets defeated Italy 2-0. In the final between USSR and the Netherlands, rival of USSR from Group B, the Netherlands won the match with a clear score and became the European champions.

The final major championship contested by the Soviet team was the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where they were drawn in Group B with Argentina, Romania and Cameroon. The only success of USSR in the whole tournament came when they managed to beat the group leaders, Cameroon by 4-0. The Soviet team lost their other matches and failed to qualify from the group. The USSR qualified for Euro 92, but the breakup of the Soviet Union meant that the finals place was instead taken by the CIS national football team. After the tournament, the former Soviet Republics competed as separate independent nations, with FIFA allocating the Soviet team's record to Russia.

Notable players

Armenia

Belarus

Georgia

Lithuania

 

Russia

 

Russia

 

Ukraine

 


Player records

Player records are accurate as of December, 1991.

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Most capped Soviet players

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Oleg Blokhin 1972 - 1988 112 42
2 Rinat Dasaev 1979 - 1990 91 0
3 Albert Shesternev 1961 - 1971 90 0
4 Anatoliy Demyanenko 1981 - 1990 80 6
5 Volodymyr Bezsonov 1977 - 1990 79 4
6 Siarhey Aleinikaw 1984 - 1991 77 6
7 Lev Yashin 1954 - 1967 74 0
8 Murtaz Khurtsilava 1965 - 1973 69 6
9 Oleg Protasov 1984 - 1991 68 29
10 Valeriy Voronin 1960 - 1968 66 5
11 Oleg Kuznetsov 1986 - 1991 63 1
12 Volodymyr Kaplichny 1968 - 1974 62 0
13 Valentin Ivanov 1956 - 1965 59 26
14 Vagiz Khidiatulin 1978 - 1990 58 6
15 Gennadiy Litovchenko 1984 - 1990 58 15
16 Viktor Kolotov 1970 - 1978 55 22
17 Igor Netto 1952 - 1965 54 4
18 Igor Chislenko 1959 - 1968 53 20
19 Evgeniy Lovchev 1969 - 1977 52 1
20 Anatoliy Banishevskiy 1965 - 1972 50 19

Top Soviet goalscorers

The following statistic is based on the statistic published in Sovetskiy Sport of December 1991.[6]

# Player Career Goals (Caps) Pct.
1 Oleg Blokhin 1972 - 1988 42 (112) 0.375
2 Oleg Protasov 1984 - 1991 29 (68) 0.426
3 Valentin Ivanov 1956 - 1965 26 (59) 0.441
4 Eduard Streltsov 1955 - 1968 25 (38) 0.658
5 Viktor Kolotov 1970 - 1978 22 (55) 0.4
6 Viktor Ponedelnik 1960 - 1966 20 (29) 0.69
Igor Chislenko 1959 - 1968 20 (53) 0.377
8 Anatoliy Banishevskiy 1965 - 1972 19 (50) 0.38
9 Anatoliy Ilyin 1952 - 1959 16 (31) 0.516
10 Anatoliy Byshovets 1966 - 1972 15 (39) 0.385
Gennadiy Litovchenko 1984 - 1990 15 (58) 0.259
12 Fedor Cherenkov 1979 - 1990 12 (34) 0.353
13 Sergei Salnikov 1954 - 1958 11 (20) 0.55
Volodymyr Onyschenko 1972 - 1977 11 (44) 0.25
Slava Metreveli 1958 - 1970 11 (48) 0.229
16 Nikita (Mkrtych) Simonyan 1954 - 1958 10 (20) 0.5
Ramaz Shengelia 1979 - 1983 10 (26) 0.385
Yuriy Gavrilov 1978 - 1985 10 (46) 0.217


National teams of the former Soviet republics

 Armenia National team U-21 team UEFA
 Azerbaijan National team U-21 team UEFA
 Belarus National team U-21 team UEFA
 Estonia National team U-21 team UEFA
 Georgia National team U-21 team UEFA
 Kazakhstan National team U-21 team UEFA (AFC:1992-2002)
 Kyrgyzstan National team U-23 team AFC
 Latvia National team U-21 team UEFA Played in UEFA Euro 2004
 Lithuania National team U-21 team UEFA
 Moldova National team U-21 team UEFA
 Russia National team U-21 team UEFA Played in 1994 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 1996, 2002 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2004 and UEFA Euro 2008
Play-offs for 1998 and 2010 World Cups
 Tajikistan National team U-23 team AFC
 Turkmenistan National team U-23 team AFC Played in 2004 AFC Asian Cup
 Ukraine National team U-21 team UEFA Played in 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012
Play-offs for 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups and UEFA Euro 2000
 Uzbekistan National team U-23 team AFC Played in 1996 AFC Asian Cup, 2000 AFC Asian Cup and 2004 AFC Asian Cup and 2007 AFC Asian Cup

World Cup record

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Uruguay 1930
Did Not Enter
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958
Quarter-finals
6th
5
2
1
2
5
6
Chile 1962
Quarter-finals
6th
4
2
1
1
9
7
England 1966
Semi-finals
4th
6
4
0
2
10
6
Mexico 1970
Quarter-finals
5th
4
2
1
1
6
2
West Germany 1974
Disqualified[7]
Argentina 1978
Did Not Qualify
Spain 1982
Round 2
7th
5
2
2
1
7
4
Mexico 1986
Round 2
10th
4
2
1
1
12
5
Italy 1990
Round 1
17th
3
1
0
2
4
4
United States 1994
Succeeded by Russia
Total
Best: Semi-finals
Best: 4th
31
15
6
10
53
34

Post Soviet Union World Cup record

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
United States 1994
Russia
Round 1
18th
3
1
0
2
7
6
France 1998
No Former Soviet Country Qualified
South KoreaJapan 2002
Russia
Round 1
22nd
3
1
0
2
4
4
Germany 2006
Ukraine
Quarter-finals
8th
5
2
1
2
5
7
South Africa 2010
No Former Soviet Country Qualified

European Championship record

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
France 1960 Winners 1st 2 2 0 0 5 1
Spain 1964 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 4 2
Italy 1968 Fourth Place 4th 2 0 1 1 0 2
Belgium 1972 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 1 3
Yugoslavia 1976 Quarter-finals [8]
Italy 1980 Did Not Qualify
France 1984
West Germany 1988 Runners-up 2nd 5 3 1 1 7 4
Sweden 1992 Succeeded by CIS
Total
Best: Winners
Best: 1st
13
7
2
4
17
12

Post Soviet Union European Championship record

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Sweden 1992
CIS
Round 1
3
0
2
1
1
4
England 1996
Russia
Round 1
3
0
1
2
4
8
Belgium Netherlands 2000
No Former Soviet Country Qualified
Portugal 2004
Russia
Round 1
3
1
0
2
2
4
Portugal 2004
Latvia
Round 1
3
0
1
2
1
5
Austria Switzerland 2008
Russia
Semi-finals
3rd
5
3
0
2
7
8
Poland Ukraine 2012
Ukraine
Qualified

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup - Teams with the most tournament participations". FIFA.com. http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/statisticsandrecords/tournaments/worldcup/teams/mostpartecipations.html.  
  2. ^ FIFA
  3. ^ "Soviet Union - International Results 1911-1935". RSSSF. http://www.rsssf.com/tablesu/ussr-intres1135.html. Retrieved 13 January 2007.  
  4. ^ "Yugoslavia National Team List of Results 1950-1959". RSSSF. http://www.rsssf.com/tablesj/joeg-intres50.html. Retrieved 13 January 2007.  
  5. ^ "1958 - Qualifying competition". Planet World Cup. http://www.planetworldcup.com/CUPS/1958/wc58qualification.html. Retrieved 13 January 2007.  
  6. ^ Top goalscorers (Russian)
  7. ^ Refused to play the return leg of a play-off in Chile in the aftermath of that country's 1973 military coup
  8. ^ Only 4 teams took part in the tournament finals, but USSR technically made the Quarter-Finals

External links

Preceded by
Inaugural Champions
European Champions
1960 (First title)
Succeeded by
1964 Spain

Simple English

Soviet Union
Association Football Federation of USSR
Most caps Oleg Blokhin (112)
Top scorer Oleg Blokhin (42)
World Cup
Appearances 7
First Apps 1958
Best result 4th (1966)

Soviet Union national football team is the national football team of Soviet Union.


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