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Albert Shesternyov

Personal information
Full nameAlbert Alekseyevich Shesternyov
Date of birth20 June 1941
Place of birthMoscow, Soviet Union
Date of death5 November 1994(age 53)
Place of deathMoscow, Russia
Playing positionLibero

     Home | Football | Albert Shesternyov

Albert Alekseyevich Shesternyov ( ) (20 June 1941 in Moscow 5 November 1994 in Moscow) was a soccer player for CSKA Moscow and the Soviet Union. He is generally regarded as the best football defender in Soviet football history.

Nicknamed "Ivan the Terrible", he was the captain of the great Soviet team of the 1960s, he earned 90 caps an appearance record only broken subsequently by Oleg Blokhin and Rinat Dasaev in the late 1980s.

An international from 1961 to 1971, the CSKA Moscow libero played and represented his country at three FIFA World Cups and two European Championships: 1964 European Nations' Cup and the UEFA Euro 1968. During the latter tournament the Soviet team faced Italy in one of the semi-finals. The game finished in a 0 0 tie, (including extra time), and according to the rules at the time the winner was to be decided by a coin toss. The Soviet side were given the opportunity to call the coin, and as captain Shesternyov called it. Unfortunately for the team he called it incorrectly and they were out of the final. They finished in 4th place, after losing to England in the Third place play-off game. Shesternyov was captain of the Soviet national team for 62 of his 90 caps.

He was CSKA Moscow's youngest ever debutant at 17 years old and also the clubs youngest ever captain at just 21 years old. He captained the club for nearly 10 years and played his entire career with CSKA Moscow.

Shesternyov featured in the European Championships - UEFA Teams of Tournament twice and was the Soviet Footballer of the Year in 1970, he was also voted 3rd in 1966, 1968 & 1969.

After leading CSKA to their first national title in 19 years he chose to retire from football on a high at only 30.

He was voted, by Ballon d'Or, the 14th, 11th, 10th and then 22nd best footballer in the world in 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971 respectively. During these years he was regarded as one of the best defenders in the world and if he had chosen to join one of the many European big teams that were chasing him, many said he would have been even more so highly regarded in the footballing world. He was however always commended for his one club career.

He was recently voted into the Soviet Union all-time World Cup team by football media website PlanetWorldCup.

In 1970 he became the Soviet Footballer of the Year.

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