Saturday, May 21, 2011

In the beginning of 1975 the first – I think it was the first – indoor football tournament in USSR was organized by the weekly newspaper ‘Nedelya’. It was not futsal, for there was no futsal yet as such, but close to ice-hockey in terms of rules and staging of pitch. Moscow clubs participated and the winner was surprising: Lokomotiv. The smallest Moscow club at the time and also the weakest, meandearing between First and Second Division of late. It was novelty tournament and that is the very reason for mentioning it here. Besides, it was the only tournament Lokomotiv won for many, many years… actually, until the 1990s.
Here are the happy winners.
And another photo of them, this time with names: Front, left to right: Vladimir Peregontzev, Nikolay Maslov, Zoltan Miles - captain, Anatoly Piskunov, Yury Spiridonov, Boris Kogut
Back: Vladimir Malinin, Nikolay Kalaychev, Genady Hizun, Nikolay Zudin, Anatoly Novikov, David Pais, Sergey Ryumin, Yury Ryzhov, Aleksander Trusov.
Nobody famous in the squad – Lokomotiv depended on leftovers from the big clubs – but one player should be mentioned: David Pais. As the name suggests, he was Spanish. What, Spaniards in Soviet clubs? Yes, there were, although most of them, like Pais, were born in USSR – children of Spanish Communists, who took refuge in USSR at the end of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. Pais was not the only Iberian playing Soviet football, but the ‘cradle’ of Spaniards was not Lokomotiv – it was Torpedo (Moscow).