Valeriy Lobanovskyi

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Valeriy Lobanovskyi
Valeri Lobanovsky.jpg
Lobanovski in 1985
Personal information
Full name Valeriy Vasylyovych Lobanovskyi
Date of birth (1939-01-06)6 January 1939[1]
Place of birth Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union[1]
Date of death 13 May 2002(2002-05-13) (aged 63)[1]
Place of death Zaporizhia, Ukraine[1]
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1952–1955 Football School No. 1
1955–1956 Football School of Youth (FShM)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1957–1964 Dynamo Kyiv 144 (42)
1965–1966 Chornomorets Odessa 59 (15)
1967–1968 Shakhtar Donetsk 50 (14)
Total 253 (71)
National team
1960–1961 Soviet Union 2 (0)
Teams managed
1969–1973 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
1973–1982 Dynamo Kyiv
1975–1976 Soviet Union
1979 Ukrainian SSR
1982–1983 Soviet Union
1984–1990 Dynamo Kyiv
1986–1990 Soviet Union
1990–1993 United Arab Emirates
1994–1996 Kuwait
1997–2002 Dynamo Kyiv
2000–2001 Ukraine
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Valeriy Vasylyovych Lobanovskyi (Ukrainian: Вале́рій Васи́льович Лобано́вський, [vɑˈlɛrɪj lobɑˈnɔwsʲkɪj]; Russian: Вале́рий Васи́льевич Лобано́вский; 6 January 1939 – 13 May 2002) was Ukrainian football manager.[1] 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.[2][3]

Lobanovskyi is most famous for his spells managing FC Dynamo Kyiv, the Ukraine national football team, and earlier the USSR national football team. 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. Lobanovskyi is highly esteemed for his achievements as a coach and is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time,[4][5] but was also notorious for his both highly scientific and excessively disciplinarian approach to management and strong emphasis on physical fitness and diet.[1] Lobanovskyi is the second most decorated manager of all time with 33 trophies, only behind Alex Ferguson (48 trophies).[6]


Playing career[edit]

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.[1] 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.

Managerial career[edit]

A year after retiring as a player Lobanovskyi was named as the manager of FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. After four relatively unremarkable years with Dnipro, 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 (left) in Eindhoven in 1975 together with the manager of PSV Ben van Gelde

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, 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's burial location and monument at Baikove cemetery in Kiev

Following his death Lobanovskyi was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine, the nation's highest honour. Dynamo Kyiv's stadium was also renamed the Lobanovsky Stadium in his honour.

Lobanovskyi was buried at Baikove Cemetery where an impressive monument surrounds his tomb.

After his death, A.C. Milan won the Champions League in 2003 with Andriy Shevchenko in the team. After the victory Shevchenko flew to Kyiv to put his medal by the grave of his former manager.[7]

In 2005, the Valeri Lobanovsky Memorial Tournament was founded.

Personal life[edit]

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.

Lobanovskyi was married to Ada Lobanovskaya,[8] the couple had a daughter named Svitlana. She is a Russian philologist and owns a restaurant in Kiev called "U metrá" (English: "At The Metro").[9]

Lobanovsky is a nephew of the Ukrainian writer and a leader of the Komsomol of Ukraine Oleksandr Boichenko.

Career statistics[edit]


Club Season League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Dynamo Kyiv 1959 10 4 - - 10 4
1960 29 12 1 0 30 12
1961 28 10 1 0 29 10
1962 30 8 1 0 31 8
1963 38 8 - - 38 8
1964 9 0 - - 9 0
Total 144 42 3 0 147 42
Chornomorets 1965 28 10 - - 28 10
1966 31 5 4 5 35 10
Total 59 15 4 5 63 20
Shakhtar 1967 32 9 2 1 34 10
1968 18 5 1 1 19 6
Total 50 14 3 2 53 16
Career Total 253 71 10 7 263 78


Lobanovskyi on a 2019 stamp of Ukraine


Dynamo Kyiv


Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

Dynamo Kyiv

Soviet Union

Ukrainian SSR

United Arab Emirates



Managerial stats[edit]

Team From To Record[12]
G W D L Win %
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1968 1973 213 108 54 51 50.7
Dynamo Kyiv 1974 1990 681 356 199 126 52.28
Soviet Union 1975 1976 19 11 4 4 57.89
Ukrainian SSR 1979 1979 7 5 1 1 71.43
Soviet Union 1982 1983 10 6 3 1 60
Soviet Union 1986 1990 48 25 12 11 52.08
United Arab Emirates 1992 1992 12 6 3 3 50
Kuwait 1993 1996 41 17 11 13 41.46
Dynamo Kyiv 1997 2002 268 191 46 31 71.27
Ukraine 2000 2001 18 6 7 5 33.33
Total 1968 2002 1317 731 340 246 55.5


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Valery Vasilevich Lobanovsky. Encyclopadia Britannica
  2. ^ FIFA Order of Merit holders
  3. ^ Lobanovskyi Tournament news: Russian Super Cup in Kiev? (rus.)
  4. ^ "Greatest Managers, No. 8: Lobanovsky".
  5. ^ a b "Top 50 des coaches de l'historie". France Football. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Lobanovskyi or Lucescu: who has more trophies?". Ukrainian Premier League. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  7. ^ Events by themes: Persons. Valery Lobanovsky, UNIAN photoservice (9 January 2009)
  8. ^ Events by themes: 70th anniversary from the day of birth of Valeriy Lobanovskiy, UNIAN photoservice (6 January 2009)
  9. ^ «Футбольний прес-клуб»: напередодні старту – Official website of the Football Federation of Ukraine, Accessed 11 ??? 2008 ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian)
  10. ^ Greatest Managers, No. 8: Lobanovsky
  11. ^ "May 2002, Valeriy Lobanovskiy..." Dynamo Kyiv official website. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  12. ^ Banyas, V. Valeriy Lobanovskyi: 1317 games! (Валерій Лобановський: 1317 матчів!) Ukrainian Premier League. 7 May 2018

External links[edit]