Valeriy Vasylyovych Lobanovskyi (Ukrainian: Вале́рій Васи́льович Лобано́вський [wɐˈlɛrɪj lobɐˈnɔu̯sʲkɪj]; Russian: Вале́рий Васи́льевич Лобано́вский; 6 January 1939 – 13 May 2002) was а Ukrainian football manager. He was the Master of Sports of USSR, the Distinguished Coach of USSR, and the laureate of the UEFA Ruby Order (2002) and FIFA Order of Merit, the highest honour awarded by FIFA. In 2002 he was awarded the Hero of Ukraine award (posthumously), the highest Ukrainian honour, for his contribution to Ukrainian football. Lobanovskyi is highly esteemed for his achievements as a coach and is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time. Nicknamed "the football scientist", Lobanovskyi is credited for bringing a scientific and analytical approach and strong emphasis on physical fitness and diet to the game. With the cooperation with Anatoly Zelentsov, a scientist from the department of physical education theory of Kyiv State Institute of Physical Education, Lobanovskyi brought an accurate system of calculation of the training process and mathematical modeling of physical load for players.
Lobanovski in 1985
|Full name||Valeriy Vasylyovych Lobanovskyi|
|Date of birth||6 January 1939|
|Place of birth||Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union|
|Date of death||13 May 2002(aged 63)|
|Place of death||Zaporizhia, Ukraine|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|1952–1955||Football School No. 1|
|1955–1956||Football School of Youth (FShM)|
|1990–1993||United Arab Emirates|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Lobanovskyi is most famous for his spells managing FC Dynamo Kyiv and the USSR national football team. Lobanovskyi established Dynamo as the most dominant club in Soviet football in the 70s and 80s, winning Soviet Top League eight times and Soviet Cup six times in 16 years. In 1975 his Dynamo Kyiv team became the first side from the Soviet Union to win a major European trophy when they beat Hungarian side Ferencváros in the final of the Cup Winners' Cup. During the tournament, Dynamo Kyiv won 8 games out of 9, resulting in a winning percentage of 88.88% – a record among all European three main tournaments' winning club sides, matched only by Paris Saint-Germain in 1995/96. Lobanovskyi and the team repeated the Cup Winners' Cup success in 1986, beating Atletico Madrid in the final. In both 1975 and 1986, Dynamo's players (Oleg Blokhin and Igor Belanov respectively) were also rewarded with Ballon d'Or. During Lobanovskyi's first two stints, the team has also reached European Cup semi-finals in 1977 and 1987 and quarter-finals in 1976, 1982 and 1983. With the Soviet Union national team, Lobanovskyi reached the finals of the Euro 1988, losing the championship to Netherlands, and won the bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games.
After returning to Dynamo Kyiv in 1997 for the third time, Lobanovskyi led the team to another successful run in international tournaments. In a first full season during the third run, Dynamo reached quarter-finals of the Champions League in 1998, winning the group that included FC Barcelona, Newcastle United and PSV Eindhoven, famously beating Barcelona both times, 3:0 in Kyiv and 4:0 on Camp Nou. The next season, Lobanovskyi and the club ended their Champions League campaign in semi-finals, where they were stopped by Bayern Munich, and Dynamo's striker Andriy Shevchenko ended up third in 1999 Ballon d'Or voting process. Lobanovskyi has also won the Ukraininan league title in each of his five seasons with the club.
Throughout his coaching career Lobanovskyi has won 33 official trophies, becoming the second most decorated manager of all time (behind Alex Ferguson) and the most successful football manager of the 20th century. He also holds several managerial records in Soviet football, including most Soviet Top League titles, most Soviet Cup wins (shared with Viktor Maslov) and most USSR Super Cup wins. Lobanovskyi is the only manager to win a major European competition with non-Western European club twice. He is one of the four managers to win the Cup Winners' Cup twice, and is one of the two (along with Nereo Rocco) to do it with one team. Lobanovskyi has also won the Ukrainian championship five times out of five, an accomplishment not matched by any other manager. Lobanovskyi is also credited for being a tutor for three Ballon d'Or winners — Oleg Blokhin, Igor Belanov and Andriy Shevchenko.
Lobanovskyi was a graduate of the Kiev Football School No. 1 and the Football School of Youth in Kiev. He began his playing career as a left winger with Dynamo Kyiv, his hometown club, whilst with the side he won both the USSR league and cup. He spent seven years with the club before finishing his career with brief spells at Chornomorets Odessa, and Shakhtar Donetsk. Lobanovskyi ended his playing career at the age of 29 having scored 71 goals in 257 games. He also earned two full caps for the Soviet Union and played in two Olympic games. Lobanovskyi played his first international game on 4 September 1960 away against Austria. He is most famous for his legendary ability to score from corner kicks and his ability to curve the ball and place it wherever he pleased; his fame as a player helped him to become a coach for Dynamo Kiev.
A year after retiring as a player Lobanovskyi was named as the manager of FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. After four relatively remarkable years with Dnipro, during which the team was promoted to the Soviet Top League and established itself as a respectable force in Soviet club football, Lobanovskyi moved to his former club, Dynamo Kyiv, before the start of the 1974 season, he would manage the side for 15 of the next 17 years (he spent 1983–1984 managing the USSR). During these two spells Kyiv were successful in breaking the Russian dominance of Soviet football. Lobanovskyi led his side to the Soviet super league eight times, the cup six times, the European Cup Winners' Cup of 1975 and 1986, and European Super Cup of 1975.
Lobanovskyi also spent three spells managing the Soviet Union during this period. He took the side to the bronze medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics during his first spell. However, it was his third, and last, spell with the side that he gained the most attention. He was asked to manage the side on the eve of the 1986 World Cup. The side, which consisted mainly of his own Dynamo Kyiv players, finished top of their group, but were knocked out in the second round by Belgium 4–3 after extra time. The team did, however, achieve far greater success at the 1988 European Championship. The team again finished top of their group, beating the Netherlands on the way. However, they played the Netherlands again in the final and failed to repeat their previous victory.
Following perestroika, many of Lobanovskyi's best players, for both club and country, left the USSR to play in Western Europe. Going into the 1990 World Cup he couldn't call upon his own Kyiv players to form the core of the side as he had previously done. His subsequent lack of ability to completely control his side led to the team finishing bottom of their group.
Following the debacle of the World Cup, Lobanovskyi decided to leave Dynamo Kyiv and take up the lucrative offer of managing the United Arab Emirates national football team. After four years, during which the national team ended up 4th at the Asian Cup, their best finish up to that date, he was sacked after failing to qualify at the World Cup and went on to spend the next two years managing the Kuwait national football team (winning a bronze medal at the Asian Games), before he was again sacked.
In January 1997, Lobanovskyi returned to manage Dynamo Kyiv for a third time. The club by this time had fallen somewhat from their former heights. The club had no competition in Ukraine but failed to qualify at the group stage of Champions League and was beaten by Neuchâtel Xamax in the UEFA Cup. Lobanovskyi, however, managed to turn the club around quickly. Aside from leading the team to five consecutive championships, Lobanovskyi managed to turn the side into one of the best sides in Europe, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League in 1999. He was made manager of the Ukraine national side in March 2000, but was sacked after the side lost a playoff to reach the 2002 World Cup to Germany.
Lobanovskyi suffered a stroke on 7 May 2002, shortly after his Dynamo Kyiv side had beaten FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya. He died on 13 May, during brain surgery, following complications suffered after the stroke. At the Champions League final in Glasgow two days later, UEFA held a minute's silence in his honour.
Lobanovskyi was buried at Baikove Cemetery where an impressive monument surrounds his tomb.
In 2005, the Valeri Lobanovsky Memorial Tournament was founded.
Lobanovsky was born in Kiev to Vasyl Mykhailovych Lobanovsky and Oleksandra Maksymivna Boichenko. Vasyl Lobanovsky traces his roots to the Polish szlachta family of Lobko-Lobanowski.
- Soviet First League (1): 1971
- Soviet Top League (8): 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990
- Soviet Cup (6): 1974, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1990
- USSR Super Cup (3): 1980, 1985, 1986
- Dynamo Games of the USSR (1): 1987
- Ukrainian National League (5): 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
- Ukrainian Cup (3): 1998, 1999, 2000
- UEFA Cup Winners Cup (2): 1975, 1986
- UEFA Super Cup (1): 1975; Runner-up: 1986
- Commonwealth of Independent States Cup (3): 1997, 1998, 2002
United Arab Emirates
- European Coach of the Year—Sepp Herberger/Tommaso Maestrelli Award (3 times, record): 1986, 1988, 1999
- European Coach of the Season: 1985–86
- Sports Coach of the Year: 1975
- Ukrainian Football Manager of the Year (5): 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002
- France Football 6th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2019
- World Soccer 6th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013
- ESPN FC 8th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013
- France Football 8th Greatest Manager of the 20th Century
|United Arab Emirates||1992||1992||12||6||3||3||50|
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- FIFA Order of Merit holders
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- UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Europa League
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- «Футбольний прес-клуб»: напередодні старту – Official website of the Football Federation of Ukraine. Retrieved 11 ??? 2008 (in Ukrainian)
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- Banyas, V. Valeriy Lobanovskyi: 1317 games! (Валерій Лобановський: 1317 матчів!) Ukrainian Premier League. 7 May 2018
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