Traditionally, the World Cups are held without the participation of the national team of Belarus and this one is not an exception. But some Belarusian players managed to write their names in the history of the mundial.
Who kept Diego Maradona at bay, why is it important for a footballer to drink beer or what are the advantages of being a “walrus”?
Today we’ll show you the most outstanding Belarusian football players and their spectacular goals.
The first name that comes to minds of local football fans is Eduard Malofeyev.
Indeed, the famous striker, and then the coach of Dinamo Minsk who took Soviet football to a new level.
Malofeyev rose to prominence in Belarus, having scored over 100 goals in Soviet Top League for Dinamo Minsk.
He is widely regarded as one of the best Belarusian coaches in history as he led Dinamo Minsk to the team’s only Soviet champions title.
Besides, he coached Belarus national football team in one of their most successful major competition qualifying campaigns.
Famous Dinamo forward has long been in our country. But, well, you can’t fool the passport – Malofeyev is still a Russian, born in Krasnoyarsk.
Interestingly, five Belarusians who stood out at the world championships were Eduard Malofeyev’s students.
Sergei Borovsky is one of them, he participated in the 1982 FIFA World Cup and did really well.
Initially, the team didn’t want to make him a part of the team but then appraised Borovsky’s flexibility as a defender.
Again, it was Eduard Malofeyev who led the USSR national team to the 1986 World Cup.
It was no big surprise that eight Dinamo Minsk players were in the team, while four of them prepared for a trip across the ocean.
However, Malofeyev was fired shortly before the World Cup in favour of Valeri Lobanovsky. The latter left only Sergei Aleinikov in the team.
The first Belarusian goal at the world championship was scored both due to Aleinikov’s talent and climatic conditions.
The match was held in the Mexican city of Irapuato, located at an altitude of 1785 meters above sea level.
In the rarefied high-altitude atmosphere footballs, pumped up to European standards, flew with greater speed.
Aleinikov decided to strike from a very long distance, from 30 meters and he scored.
Shortly afterwards the midfielder joined Juventus F.C., one of the best clubs in the world.
In 1990, FIFA World Cup was held in Italy. Together with Aleinikov, Andrey Zygmantovich, the midfielder of Dinamo Minsk he presentedn the Soviet Union.
When playing against Argentina Zygmantovich was ordered to deter Diego Maradona, the best football player in the world of this time.
And you know what? Although the team didn’t manage to win the game, Andrey pulled off, Maradona did not score!
In a match with Cameroon, Zygmantovich scored a goal against Cameroon (4–0, although in a final group stage exit).
It turned out to be his last international game for the country. Soon he left abroad, and played in the championships of Holland, and Spain.
Sergey Gorlukovich is the only Belarusian who became the Olympic champion in football (in Seoul in 1988).
Journalists nicknamed him the “Great mute” for his dislike of giving interviews.
He played in Belarusian, Russian and German clubs until he was 40 years old.
The defining moment in his carreer happened when he was invited for a trial at Dortmund’s Borussia.
That winter was really cold and the German players were wrapped up in layers when on a field.
Gorlukovich, on the other hand, appeared in shorts and a T-shirt, and even gestured that he was hot.
Shortly after the incident, the president of the team ordered to make a contract with the Belarusian “walrus”.
In international football, Gorlukovich played at the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups, and also in Euro 1996.
One of the most promising domestic athletes, Milevskiy earned the reputation of “prodigal son” of the Belarusian football.
A native of Minsk, he left for Ukraine at the age of 15 after receiving an invitation from the Kiev Dynamo Football Academy.
When the striker expressed a desire to change his citizenship and play for Ukraine, a scandal broke out.
Artem was reminded of a match he played for the youth national team of Belarus.
According to football laws, if a player played for one team, he had no rights to play for another one.
FIFA, the international federation of football, changed its decision on Milevskiy three times.
In the end, the Belarusians gave up their rights on the football player.
Artem played four matches at the World Cup in 2006, where the Ukrainian team sensationally made it to ¼ finals.
Milevskiy is known both for his technical ability and physical bulk which allows him to play with a quicker forward.