Russia mourns Morozov

Former FC Zenit St. Peterburg coach and Soviet Union assistant coach Yuri Morozov has died at 71.

By Pavle Gognidze

Former FC Zenit St. Peterburg, FC Dynamo Kyiv and PFC CSKA Moskva coach Yuriy Morozov, who was assistant to Valeriy Lobanovskiy with the Soviet Union national side, has died aged 71.

Playing career
Morozov made his name as a midfield player in the 1950s and 1960s with his hometown clubs Zenit, FC Admiralteyets and FC Dinamo Leningrad (now St. Peterburg), captaining the latter two and becoming a USSR 'B' international. After retiring at 31, he worked for Zenit's youth academy and became a dean of football science at the Lesgaft Academy of Physical Education. He then joined Lobanovskiy's USSR coaching team, assisting the side at the 1976 Olympics, where they won bronze, and in their run to the 1988 UEFA European Championship final.

Zenit success
In 1978, having previously been part of the FC Spartak Mosvka set-up, he took on his first head coach's job with Zenit. Two years later he led them to third place in the Soviet Supreme League, their highest-ever finish at that point. He had three spells in charge at Zenit over a 15-year period and in 1984 the team he built became Soviet champions for the only time. He finally left the club for good in 2002 due to ill health.

Middle East experience
Morozov's career as a head coach was also notable for stays with Dynamo and CSKA in the mid-1980s, the latter lasting three years. In addition, he took the helm of the Iraq and Kuwait national sides, before his farewell role, on the bench of FC Petrotrest St. Peterburg, ended in 2003.