Lev Yashin did not receive his first medal for sporting merits. When he, a simple 11-year-old teenager, was sent to rest in the summer in the suburbs, the Great Patriotic War began. At first, he and his school were transported to Voskresensk, saving from bombing, but soon the young man with his family went even further from Moscow to Ulyanovsk, where the aircraft factory, where the father of the future football star worked, was evacuated.
Yashin met his 12th birthday while unloading trains with factory equipment, and a year later he himself began to work as a mechanic in an evacuated enterprise, having managed to grow to the third category. In the rear, Yashin began to smoke - so he struggled with sleep, so as not to get injured at a dangerous machine. About how a teenager, together with his father and mother, three of them worked at the factory, they even wrote in local newspapers.
In 1944, the plant returned to Moscow, but Yashin had to get to the place of work through the whole city. However, until the end of the war, he continued to produce the necessary details at the front and help the country. At 16, Yashin was awarded the medal "For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945" - before he received all his sports awards.
Perhaps Yashin could have become ... a ski jumper. At least, he was fond of this fun in his pre-war childhood. The future footballer loved to climb up wooden sheds, which were easy to find in the courtyards of old Moscow, and jump from them with friends.
“They fell, hurt themselves, and filled huge bruises, but they learned to stay on their feet, not to be afraid of heights, to control their bodies,” Yashin later recalled.
He believed that it was these exercises that helped him develop coordination in the future, to play football at the highest level, and also to get rid of a sense of fear. Years later, Yashin said that the new generation of footballers is so prone to injuries that they no longer play dangerous games in the yards.
- RIA News
- © M. Botashev
Yashin is known worldwide as one of the best football goalkeepers in history. But in the early 50s, he managed to light up in hockey, and quite brightly. It was commonplace in those years to play football in the summer, and to go out on the ice in the winter with a club in hand. Only the tastes of the players after the war began to change - instead of hockey, they tried the new “Canadian” hockey, which was noticeably different from the “Russian”. Combining two sports has become more difficult, but still some athletes succeeded.
It will not seem surprising that Yashin also played hockey professionally, if you recall who brought him to Dynamo football. The great coach and author of the first goal in the USSR hockey championship Arkady Chernyshev did this. With his submission, young Yashin got up in the small hockey gates in winter. The future owner of the Golden Ball had a hard time. According to a football habit, he tried to catch the puck with his hands, and not repel it, which caused his fingers to break into the blood. Sometimes he surprised rivals with outlets in the field. But gradually, Yashin got accustomed thanks to the main goalkeeper of Dynamo Karl Liiv, with whom he lived at the training camp in the same room.
By 1953, Yashin became the second number in the hockey team. He won the bronze of the national championship, and two months later became the owner of the USSR Cup, and in the final match against CDSA, it was Yashin who stood at the goal. The game ended with a score of 3: 2 in favor of Dynamo. The goalkeeper received the title of master of sports for this - earlier than in football. The question arose which game to continue to focus on, because Yashin was even predicted to travel with the national team to the world debut championship. But he still focused on football, although he still remained an understudy in Dynamo.
With his future wife Valentina Shashkova, a graduate of the economic college, Yashin met in his hometown of Tushino, when he was already a substitute for the football Dynamo. At first, a tall and thin guy who, moreover, did not know how to dance beautifully, did not impress the girl. But over time, he conquered her with his politeness and perseverance. As the chosen one Yashin recalled, once she caught a cold and met him on the street walking with another girl. The football player was embarrassed and, as an apology, got her lemons scarce for post-war Moscow. After that, they no longer parted.
They failed to get married the first time. When in December 1954, Leo and Valentina went to the registry office, the girl at the last moment wrote in a statement that she wanted to leave her previous name. Yashin hurt it - he threw the leaf into the ballot box and went home upset. Fortunately, the insult was short-lived. The friends convinced Valentina that the name of her husband would still be recognized all over the world, and she agreed to take her. They managed to sign on the last day of the year, after which Yashin left for a two-month training camp with the team.
The marriage was happy, and in it the goalkeeper had two daughters - Irina and Elena. Before his death in 1990, Yashin managed to see his grandson Vasily Frolov. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and became a goalkeeper, playing for the double of the Moscow Dynamo in Moscow, as well as for teammates from St. Petersburg and Zvenigorod. He named his son in honor of the famous great-grandfather Leo.
Many legends of world football of the 60s and 70s considered Yashin their friend. Pele, Michel Platini, Eusebio, Franz Beckenbauer - all of them were glad that they were in good relations with the Soviet goalkeeper and came to visit him, although they were separated by a language barrier.
The great Portuguese Eusebio respected Yashin so much that when they played against each other at the 1966 World Cup, he told his opponent what angle the penalty kick would take. At stake were the bronze medals of the tournament, but the attacker did not deceive his friend and honestly struck to his right.
“Over the years, I am more and more inclined to believe: as a football player I have developed largely thanks to him. When you score the best goalkeeper in the history of football, it is remembered for a lifetime! And I scored Yashin. After that, wings grew, I wanted to believe that I could score to anyone! Every time I visit Russia, I definitely go to Leo to the grave and meet his widow Valentina. I thank God for knowing this person closely, ”Eusebio told Sport Express.