30 years ago, an excellent football team was formed in Odessa – perhaps the best in the history of local football (except for the one that became the champion of the Russian Empire in 1913). “Terrikon” recalls this amazing team, which could very well become the first champion of Ukraine …


The USSR Federation Cup remained the only trophy in the history of Chornomorets 1990. Odessans won the last draw of this strange tournament, in which everyone was not involved. In the final, Dnipro was defeated 2: 0 – to the delight of the audience gathered at the central stadium of Odessa. The stars of that team were goalkeeper Viktor Grishko, defender Sergei Puchkov (USSR champion in Dnipro), midfielder Ilya Tsymbalar and Yuri Nikiforov, forward Ivan Getsko.

In the autumn of the same year, “Chornomorets” did a good job in the UEFA Cup. Having knocked out the Norwegian “Rosenborg”, he then fought on equal terms with “Monaco” under the leadership of the more or less grated Arsene Wenger. He conceded 0: 0, 0: 1, but left an excellent impression of himself.

In the last Soviet season 1991 Odessans nearly won medals. But even without that, they became the best Ukrainian team, beating Dynamo Kiev in the last round. Odessans won against Dushanbe “Pamir”, and in a parallel match, Moscow “Torpedo” defeated Kiev with the same score. Finished “Chornomorets” and “Torpedo” with the same points indicator – 35. But for the Muscovites, the goal difference was “plus 27”, and for the Odessans – “plus 15 “. Such a minuscule decided the fate of the medals …

The late Soviet “Chernomorets” – the creation of the hands of Viktor Prokopenko. He returned to the club after the failure 1988, when the inhabitants of Odessa snapped at 13 – th place. With Prokopenko, things immediately improved, and already in 1989 they managed to climb to 6th place. People were drawn to him – Viktor Evgenievich was already associated with decent football at that time. So, for example, he attracted an experienced striker Georgy Kondratyev, one of the championship team of Minsk “Dynamo” 1982. Kondratyev was only 29 years, and Prokopenko had no doubts that this player would provide several good seasons, and his experience for the team that rises from its knees is simply priceless. And so it happened. In the very first season, Kondratyev scored 14, becoming the best scorer in Odessa.

In the same way, Dnipro defender Sergei Puchkov turned out to be in Chornomorets (he was 27 years). Prokopenko relied on experienced footballers, trying to combine them with the youth. True, this had the opposite effect. In 1990 union football “fell down”, the players began to leave en masse to work abroad. First of all, older people were, of course, subject to this effect. As a result, Chornomorets spent the season 1991 without Kondratyev and without Puchkov. But, as we have already seen, this did not affect the result.

Prokopenko managed to create a team with a large margin of safety, which did not suffer fatally from the loss of several performers, even very important ones. And in the first Ukrainian independent season, she was the main favorite. After all, her composition at that time, perhaps, was stronger than the Kiev one.

Prokopenko, every season, pulled the pupils of local football into his team. One by one, Ilya Tsymbalar, Yuri Nikiforov, Dmitry Parfenov, Sergei Gusev, Timerlan Guseinov were approved. Everyone will make successful careers in the future, everyone will become respected people in the football world. In addition, Prokopenko vigilantly watched what was happening on the periphery – and tirelessly pulled out talents from there, which in his hands also acquired a new quality. This is how forward Ivan Getsko from Uzhgorod, defender Yuriy Shelepnitsky from Chernivtsi, goalkeeper Oleg Suslov from Luhansk, defender Yuriy Sak from Zaporozhye appeared in Chernomorets.

It was a team with no weaknesses, with an excellent balance and a winning mentality. And she won the title in 1992 – m. True, not the main one – just the Cup of Ukraine. But the expected “gold” of the championship did not work out.

Competitions were held in two subgroups. In his “Chernomorets” he began to lose points from the very start – he played in a draw with “Karpaty”, lost to “Tavriya” … After the 5th round, Odessans were in 6th place. Then, however, pulled up and began to pursue the unexpected leader – “Tavria”. After Odessans lagged behind the Crimeans by only a point and had to play with the main competitor. Alas, they could not squeeze anything out of themselves except for a goalless draw. And in the remaining 4 rounds they also lost to Karpaty. As a result, they remained only in 3rd place in the subgroup (they were overtaken by Shakhtar at the last moment) and generally finished without medals …

So the surest way to get Ukrainian was missed. ” gold”. In the future, the inhabitants of Odessa still retained a strong team, half of its composition was part of the Ukrainian national team at an early stage of its existence. In the national championship, “Chornomorets” was actually an obvious “second force”. But nothing more. “Dynamo” quickly came to their senses and the question of the championship was quickly decided in their favor. And from “Chernomorets” most of its young stars, favorites of Prokopenko, were drawn to the exit. This is how the best team in the history of Odessa football gradually ended …

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Fyodor Larin, specially for “Terrikon”


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