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Kulkov was the best Russian defensive midfielder for this time period. Was quite similar to Popescu in that he could play the CB and DM role. Strong tackler,excellent distribution and positioning in the role and drifting around the pitch with a haunting grace, he could have had a much better career, but as with most self-respecting ussr players of talent from the early 90s he was more interested in partying and becoming an alcoholic than working hard enough to progress his career. He was one of the worst for it along with his drinking pal Barsik Yuran, though at first it didn't seem to matter much and he had a great partnership with Rui Costa in Portugal. Missed Euro 92 and 96 with injury and the midfield suffered a lot for it with Byshovets deciding to play a washed up Aleynikov at 92 and at 96 Romantsev just starting his alcoholic years decided to play two-at the time-10's with barely any caps Radimov and Khokhlov in the position.

Shalimov an option too. A disgrace of a man, but a beast of a midfielder until he decided it was too much effort to play at a high level consistently and would rather be a journeyman.

Ranking of late 80s-early 90s wasted talents for future reference based on amount of talent wasted/realised ratio , only players that could have been excellent/great allowed:

1.Viktor Leonenko
2.Igor Dobrovolski
3.Igor Korneev
3.Igor Shalimov
4.Vasili Kulkov
5.Igor Ledyakhov
5.Aleksandr Mostovoi (partially redeemed by becoming la liga cult legend at celta Vigo, but could have done more with his talent)
6.Oleksandr Zavarov (at least had good ussr era achievements, but a fat disgrace afterward)
7. aleksei Mikhailichenko(same, except not quite as lazy and also injury prone.)

Bonus talented players ruined by injuries list:

1. Ilya Tsymbalar
2.Marat "twink" Izmailov
3.Andrei Kanchelskis
4.Andrei Pyatnitski
5.Yuri Zhirkov
6.Omari Tetradze
 

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I thought about Salenko and Kolivanov. Even Titov came to mind. I'm not even sure why I settled on the Dishonourable One in the end.

One thing's for certain, Russia has long been blessed by slightly-above-average-nowhere-near-world class strikers.

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Titov was a centre/attacking midfielder.

the 90s strikers were a poor group. With a good finisher i think the team would have likely qualified for 98 and 2000 even with some of the other issues that were around at the time. Kolyvanov was a good player though injury prone, but more as a linkup and dribbling wide forward, you couldn't rely on him for goals at all. Leonenko was by far the most talented forward of that ussr youth system produced generation alongside Shevchenko, but despite being from Tyumen he opted to represent Ukraine and got fucked in the arse eventually for it by Szabo and Lobanovsky who wanted workhorses in every position and weren't interested in trying to build around a lazy genius type or reform his shite work ethic. Confined to the reserves for 3 or 4 years and career killed stone dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
The Russian team was tough to do because, although the 90's generation was, IMO, more talented they didn't leave their mark internationally.

The 00's team reached a Euro semi but realistically only Aršavin became a genuine star.

No EE nation has had as many good or very good players in the last 30 years.

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Discussion Starter #86
Šalimov always stands out for me...probably because I followed Serie A religiously in the 90s...I see he has only 23 Russia caps lol.

Abedi, can you please explain what the Letter of Fourteens was?

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Discussion Starter #87
The Soviet line-up from the home leg of the Euro U21 final in 1990.


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Discussion Starter #89
In both cases the attackers turned out much better than the defenders.
The Soviet defenders didn't go on but of the Yugoslav defenders only Babunski didn't end up in one of the big leagues...

Đukić is probably the most underrated ex-Yu of that generation because his successful years were as a veteran...he was part of that Deportivo team that almost won La Liga and with Valencia he eventually won it and played in two CL finals. Jarni had several successful seasons with Betis when they were top 6 and had stints at Juve and Real Madrid. Brnović played 4-5 seasons at Espanyol, Panadić was at Hamburg in the late 90s although he never cracked the Cro NT.

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Šalimov always stands out for me...probably because I followed Serie A religiously in the 90s...I see he has only 23 Russia caps lol.

Abedi, can you please explain what the Letter of Fourteens was?

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That was the national team squad heroic attempted revolution organised by a trolling Shalimov (he'd already dialled back the effort massively that season at Inter) against the Russian Football Union just before the world cup, supposedly because of their authoritarian attitude and awful organisation at the time, but the players went way too far and tried to get the manager changed as well. Predictably it was a failed trainwreck that destroyed all the squad unity, saw loads of players miss out completely and doomed any chance of a good tournament. Well, there was still a strong chance to beat Sweden in the 2nd group game as the Swedes struggled and maybe a win there could have changed the atmosphere, but Gorlukovich got sent off at the start of the 2nd half and there was a valid goal disallowed too. The bit of luck often needed even in good circumstances at a tournament wasn't there.

Here is an article that goes into detail on it and has a lot of quotes from the players. I think he's over optimistic about how strong the team could have been though, it definitely had enough quality to have a good run, but a lot of the players were already fucking up their careers and the problem of lack of a clinical forward was always there.



shalimov international career was mostly over after the world cup 94 strike. Romantsev gave him some chances during the euro 96 campaign, despite he was jobbing around at teams like Duisburg by then. He did seem like he might have decided to revive his career in the 96/97 season at Bologna where he played a really good half season orchestrating things, but then picked up a bad knee injury and go caught doping not long after. Guy looks late 60s nowadays, a life of debauchery well lived.

This has all of his goals in Italy, don't see one for his Spartak days though. Some great strikes in it.

 

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Thanks ? Tetradze never played for Georgia though, just Russia. Or did you say any player trained in said country counts?

Also I'd put Asatiani over Nemsadze and Kverkvelia over Kashia.
 
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