Lev Yashin

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLev Ivanovich•Yashin
Used nameLev•Yashin
Original nameЛев Иванович•Яшин
Born22 October 1929 in Moskva (Moscow), Moskva (RUS)
Died20 March 1990 in Moskva (Moscow), Moskva (RUS)
Measurements189 cm
AffiliationsDynamo Moskva, Moskva (RUS)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Russian Federation
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Known as the “Black Spider” or simply “The Man in Black”, Lev Yashin has a good claim to be considered the greatest goalkeeper the world has ever seen. Sent to work in a munitions factory at the age of 12 he was discovered by Dynamo Moscow playing in goal for the factory team. He joined Dynamo in 1949 but did not establish himself in the first team until 1953 and for a while he was more successful playing in goal for Dynamo’s hockey section. He played the first of his 78 games for the Soviet Union in 1954. and was well established as first choice for the national team by 1956 when Yashin conceded just two goals in the Olympic tournament as the Soviets took gold against a depleted field. After an outstanding performance at the 1958 World Cup where the USSR were quarter –finalists, Yashin anchored his nation to victory in the first edition of the European Championships in 1960 but hampered by a series of concussions was less impressive in the 1962 World Cup. His USSR team reached the final of the 1964 European Championships and the semi-finals of both the 1966 World Cup and 1968 European Championships but his 1956 Olympic victory was his only appearance at the Games. The Soviet Union surprisingly were defeated in the qualifying stages in 1960, 64 and 68. Lev played his entire career with Dynamo Moscow winning five national titles and three Soviet Cups. He was voted European Footballer of the Year in 1963 and remains the only goalkeeper to have won this award. A Recipient of the Olympic Order in Silver in 1986 he was named “Goalkeeper of the Century” by FIFA in 2000.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1956 Summer Olympics Football (Football) URS RUS Lev Yashin
Football, Men (Olympic) Soviet Union 1 Gold

Special Notes