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    With the ball and the puck: how Vsevolod Bobrov became a universal athlete

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    Today it is difficult to imagine that an athlete successfully competes in two completely different team sports. However, there were times when football and hockey still continued to go hand in hand. And one of those who managed to reach heights in both sports was Vsevolod Bobrov. In his poem “Bobrov’s Breakthrough”, the Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko called this athlete “the Chaliapin of Russian football, the Gagarin of pucks in Rus’.” December 1, on the day of the centenary of the birth of the great athlete, who was equally successful in both hockey and football, Izvestia remembers Vsevolod Bobrov.

    Struggle since childhood

    Vsevolod Mikhailovich Bobrov was born on December 1, 1922 in Morshansk, then Tambov province. Three years later, the parents moved to Sestroretsk, where the future athlete got acquainted with the secrets of the puck and the ball. Under the guidance of his father, Bobrov learned the basics of football and hockey together with his older brother Vladimir. . Participated in the revolutionary movement. Having moved to the Moscow region for health reasons, he took his family with him, but soon, at the call of the party, he went to the Tambov province to engage in food requisitioning. war in Sestroretsk, Mikhail Andreevich got a job as an electrician in one of the sanatoriums, and later moved to the Voskov plant. He played bandy at right back for the first factory team, he was constantly elected captain. It is not surprising that initially Vsevolod Bobrov made an impression not by playing on a green lawn, but by showing himself in bandy, a classic Russian sport.

    Sport during the war

    The first captain of the USSR national hockey team started skating at the age of about nine . He inherited old “snow maidens” from his brother. He attached them to felt boots with twine and pencils borrowed from his sister and brother. -tricks .

    After the attack of Nazi Germany on the USSR, the plant where Vsevolod worked was evacuated to Omsk. Bobrov, like many guys, was eager to go to the front, but in the end he was sent along with the relocated factory to Siberia. A recent toolmaker became an assembler-mechanic in a workshop where artillery sights were made. But even in such difficult conditions, without sleep and rest, the factory youth managed to play football for 20–30 minutes on a playground cleared in the middle of the yard for relaxation.

    Bobrov was eager to go to the front, but in 1942 he received a summons to a military school. He did not have time to fight. As a cadet, Vsevolod continued to play football. And soon after the end of the war, the championships of the USSR began to be played again. In March 1945, Vsevolod Bobrov graduated from the Omsk Quartermaster School, received an officer’s rank and was soon invited to play for the CDKA.

    In the first season, Bobrov achieved an unprecedented result – he scored 24 goals in 21 matches. One of the reasons for such performance is the coaching decision of Boris Arkadiev to play with a double center, which at that time was considered a tactical novelty. Paired with a young scorer, the no less famous army striker Grigory Fedotov came out, who in this pair, as an experienced player, was assigned the role of a passer, and Bobrov, hungry for goals, became the “tip” of attacks and skillfully completed them.

    Tour abroad

    Due to the high performance, Vsevolod Mikhailovich was invited to the legendary Dynamo Moscow tour of the UK, where Soviet football players had to fight with four teams – Chelsea, Cardiff City, ” Arsenal and Rangers. Dynamo won two victories and drew twice, scoring 19 goals in four matches and conceding nine. The main scorer was Vsevolod Bobrov, who scored six goals . It is believed that the successful tour contributed to the entry of the USSR Football Federation into FIFA and the further development of domestic football.

    The English trip is remarkable not only for the excellent results of Soviet football players, but also by the fact that Vsevolod Mikhailovich first got acquainted with Canadian hockey. The game interested the athlete so much that upon his return from London, Bobrov played in the CDKA-VVS match and scored a hat-trick, and the “team of lieutenants” won 5:3. In the future, the scorer will combine football and hockey . However, due to various injuries, Bobrov will miss a large number of matches, and in total he will play about 116 meetings in which he will score 124 goals. , the Air Force team and Spartak. He became the champion of the USSR four times, twice the silver medalist and twice won the USSR Cup.

    In 1949, Bobrov decided to finally change his specialization to hockey and went the Air Force team, which was supervised by Stalin’s son Vasily. In addition to hockey, he took care of teams and other sports (football, volleyball, water polo).

    In January 1950, the Air Force hockey club was to fly to Chelyabinsk for a match with the local Dzerzhinets. By chance, Vsevolod Bobrov overslept the flight, thanks to which he survived. The plane was not destined to land – while landing, the aircraft crashed near Sverdlovsk. All who were on board died. hockey players. The Air Force continued to play the championship, according to its results, it took fourth place, and the following year it completely became the winner of the USSR championship.

    scored 254 goals in 130 matches, won the USSR championship seven times, became the world champion twice and European champion three times, and also became the Olympic champion in 1956.

    Political Game

    Four years before winning the Winter Olympics, Vsevolod Mikhailovich took part in the Olympic Games as the captain of a football team. At that time, the stars of past years were already ending their careers or were in decline, and there were not so many young prominent players, so it was decided to return the hockey player Bobrov to professional football.

    In 1952, the Soviet team did not achieve any serious results in Finland. The famous Soviet comeback in the second round against the national team of Yugoslavia, after 0:4, was largely due to Bobrov’s hat-trick, and the match ended with a score of 5:5. But in the replay, our team still lost to the Yugoslavs. This defeat also had a political connotation. Upon returning from the Olympics, many football players were deprived of the titles of masters of sports, and the CDKA team, which consisted of the backbone of the national team, was completely disbanded.

    But Vsevolod Bobrov remained the only athlete in history who became the captain of the football and hockey team at the Olympic Games.

    It is believed that Bobrov in hockey was the ancestor of goals from behind the gate. Thanks to his speed and unusual grip, Vsevolod Mikhailovich managed to perform this trick more than once. This method is still commonly referred to as “hitting like a Bobrov”.

    After the end of his playing career, Bobrov became But in coaching, Vsevolod Mikhailovich achieved great success only on the hockey rink – once becoming the champion of the USSR and twice the world and European champion, leading the national team. As a football coach, Bobrov once reached the final of the USSR Cup, where he lost to Dynamo Moscow. who in football could from twenty meters, turning over himself, drive a “muzzle” into a “nine”, but in hockey, laying a unique turn behind the gate, slammed the puck to the goalkeeper right “under the point”. Yes, and the appearance of the young man had a prepossessing: a shaved head, a forelock on his forehead, a square, our, Russian ryoshka, a shyly impudent smile: Seva is like that! Vsevolod Bobrov died at the age of 56 due to a detached blood clot. the flight of the ball and the puck,

    as if the flight of other worlds,

    and forever – Russian, native,

    Vsevolod Bobrov is playing on the field of people’s memory

    !

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