Legendary Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin to be immortalized as FIFA 2018 ‘icon’
Yashin was added to the series along with Diego Maradona, Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Pele, and French star Thierry Henry – a group of players that boast seven World Cups and two European Championships between them.
EA Sports, which manufactures the FIFA series, paid tribute to Yashin on its website, calling him “arguably the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game.”
Yashin won five Soviet championships with club Dynamo Moscow – where he spent the entirety of his 20-year career – and also made 74 appearances for the Soviet national team, winning the UEFA European Championship in 1960 and being a runner-up in the same tournament four years later.
During his illustrious career, Yashin acquired the nickname ‘The Black Spider’ due to his all-black goalkeeping kit – which at times included a flat cap – and his acrobatic reflexes.
Estimated to have kept 270 clean sheets and saved over 150 penalties, Yashin remains the only keeper to ever win the Ballon d’Or for the world’s best player.
His image still remains today in the form of a mural in Moscow’s Tagansky district, which shows him in full Dynamo kit accompanied by his signature.
Yashin’s inclusion in FIFA 2018 coincides with the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in 12 stadiums across 11 different host cities next summer from June 14 to July 15.
It is the first time the tournament will be held in the country.