Viktor Yevhenovych Leonenko (born 5 October 1969 in Tyumen, Soviet Union) is a former footballer and Ukraine international who played as a forward. At least since 2006 he is a football commentator and analyst for the televised football forum "3 time" at the Ukrainian TV-network ICTV. He was a highly technical and individual football performer being able to receive a pass while having a limited amount of space available and efficiently converting a goal chance opportunities.
|Full name||Ві́ктор Євге́нович Лео́ненко|
|Date of birth||5 October 1969|
|Place of birth||Tyumen, RSFSR, Soviet Union|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|1988–91||FC Geolog Tyumen||93||(26)|
|1991–92||FC Dynamo Moscow||20||(14)|
|1992–98||FC Dynamo Kyiv||98||(61)|
|2001–02||FC Zakarpattia Uzhhorod||12||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Leonenko was born in Russia. His short stints at Russian clubs such as Geolog Tyumen and FC Dynamo Moscow did not really reflect his playing abilities. On the proposition of Dynamo Kyiv, Leonenko literally ran away from Moscow. That move could have cost him at least two years to lifetime disqualification, however, both Dynamos found a consensus on the issue the transfer was finalized. Later he acknowledged that if a similar proposition would have come from Spartak Moscow, he might have stayed in the Russian capital. Leonenko considers Dynamo Kyiv and Spartak Moscow the classic clubs of the Soviet Union.
Being a successful striker for Dynamo in the early to mid-1990s (Leonenko was named Ukrainian Footballer of the Year in 1992, 1993, and 1994), Leonenko was eventually forced to the bench with the emergence of the striker partnership of Serhiy Rebrov and Andriy Shevchenko. The contemporary coach of Dynamo at that time Yozhef Sabo justified his relegation to reserves for being overweight. With appearance of Valeriy Lobanovsky who is considered the "architect" of Dynamo school and who preferred the football of eleven, simply a teamwork, the individualism of Leonenko did not fit his organizational plans and the Siberian striker eventually not only did not participate in trainings, but eventually was loaned out elsewhere. He joined Sunderland on trial in November 1996, but injured an ankle on his first day of training. In 1998, Leonenko moved to play for CSKA Kyiv and ended his career with FC Zakarpattia Uzhhorod in 2001.
Despite being born in Russia, soon after transferring to Dynamo Kyiv, Leonenko chose to play for the Ukraine side. During his four years representing the Ukrainian national team from 1992 until 1996, Leonenko earned 14 caps and scored 6 goals. All goals were scored in friendlies.
In his explanation why he chose the national team of Ukraine over Russian counterpart he stated that it was not on the grounds of ethnic prerogative or political reasons. Leonenko did not specify what those reasons were, however, he told that his parents are in origin from Bryansk which in his words contained even more Belorussian nationals, for example, than Russians or Ukrainians. Himself, he considers a Siberian national, Sibiryak.
He does not see himself as a coach. Leonenko perceives Yozhef Sabo as a scout and Leonid Buryak as a football administrator rather than both working as coaches.
|1988||Geolog Tyumen||First League||17||0||1||0||-||-||18||0|
|1991||Dynamo (M)||Top League||16||9||1||0||6||0||23||9|
|1992||Dynamo (M)||Premier League||4||5||-||-||-||-||4||5|
|1992||Dynamo (K)||Premier League||5||3||1||0||-||-||6||3|
|1.||18 May 1993||Žalgiris Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania||Lithuania||1–1||1-2||Friendly|
|2.||16 October 1993||A.J. Simeon Stadium, High Point, United States||United States||1–1||1-2||Friendly|
|4.||25 May 1994||Republican Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine||Belarus||1–1||3-1||Friendly|
|5.||13 August 1996||Republican Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine||Lithuania||1–1||5-2||Friendly|
|Correct as of 1 December 2014|
- Victor Leonenko at KLISF.ru at Archive.is (archived 2013-09-06)
- Viktor Leonenko at the Football Federation of Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
- List of all National team games
- Viktor Leonenko at National-Football-Teams.com
- Interview to the newspaper "Bulvar Gordona" (in Russian)
- Interview of Leonenko to "2:1" at Nash football (video footage) (in Russian) at the Wayback Machine (archived 2011-07-23)
- 3 taim of 19 August 2010. The studio guest the Ukrainian coach Serhiy Rebrov (video footage) (in Russian) (in Ukrainian)
- Leonenko's football blog at segodnya.ua