The late Konstantin Eremenko made 17 appearances in UEFA national-team competition for Russia, and scored 44 goals out of a competitive career total that reached 1,132. It seems unlikely that there will ever be a player to match the prolific record of the former Russia striker.
Having made one appearance for FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in football's Soviet Supreme League in 1988 – a year the Ukrainian side emerged as champions – he switched to the small-sided game full-time in 1990, the following season joining MFK Dina Moskva, who were to dominate Russian futsal that decade with Eremenko as their spearhead. On the international stage he announced himself in the 1992 FIFA Futsal World Cup, scoring 15 goals in three appearances, including seven in a 10-1 defeat of China and six in a 7-7 draw with Spain. Eremenko top scored with eight goals in the first UEFA Futsal Tournament in 1996 as Russia reached the final but that was a mere prelude for what happened three years later in the premier official UEFA European Futsal Championship.
Having claimed nine goals in Russia's two qualifiers, he struck twice in all three of their group games in Granada, drawing 3-3 with Italy, beating Belgium 5-1 and defeating Portugal 3-1, and then hitting four in the 9-6 semi-final defeat of the Netherlands. That meant, as in 1996, a final meeting with hosts Spain, Russia having lost 5-3 on the previous occasion despite two Eremenko goals. He was on target again this time as the match ended 3-3, meaning a penalty shoot-out. When they went to within one spot-kick of the title, Russia could not have had a better player stepping up, and Eremenko duly converted to ensure victory. He retired in 2001 due to a heart condition but the following year became FC Dynamo president and oversaw their blossoming as a club as dominant as Dina were in the 1990s, not least with a UEFA Futsal Cup victory in 2007.
As if that was enough, Eremenko was a successful businessman and member of the Russian Federal Assembly from the Voronezh regional Duma. He died in March 2010 of heart failure while playing futsal.
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