The late FC Dynamo Kyiv trainer Valery Lobanovskiy has been voted Ukraine's Coach of the Year by the country's Professional Football League.
The late FC Dynamo Kyiv trainer Valery Lobanovskiy was today voted Ukraine's Coach of the Year by the country's Professional Football League (PFL).
Lobanovskiy died on 13 May, aged 63, two days after collapsing during Dynamo's game against FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya in Zaporizhzhya. He was rushed to hospital in the city where he underwent emergency surgery, but never fully regained consciousness despite coming round briefly to speak to his wife.
Upstaged by Shakhtar
With Lobanovskiy at the helm, Dynamo were on course to claim their tenth consecutive Ukrainian Premier League title as they led second-placed FC Shakhtar Donetsk by four points with five matches remaining. But following his death, Dynamo surrendered the lead and had to settle for second-place as Shakhtar clinched their first ever title. The Donetsk club also added the Ukrainian Cup to their league championship.
Heavy rain in the Ukrainian capital could not prevent the biggest public gathering the country has seen - reported to be in excess of 200,000 - including president Leonid Kuchma, prime minister Anatoly Kinakh, and footballers-turned-politicians Oleh Blokhin and Ihor Belanov attending the funeral of the man who led Dynamo to all of their successes in the past 30 years and who came to be known as the 'Master'.
After taking over Dynamo in 1973, the coach took them to victories in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1975 and 1986. With the Soviet national team, Lobanovskiy reached the final of EURO 88. It was then, in the second half of the 1980s, when a L'Equipe journalist first dubbed the game played by Lobanovskiy's teams, 'The football of the 21st century'.