Valery Lobanovsky,
Dynamo chief coach.
Dynamo Kyiv is no doubt one of the best known soccer clubs in Ukraine. As a matter of fact Dynamo Kyiv is probably the only Ukrainian club well known in Europe. It has won an impressive array of football trophies: the European Cup Winners’ Cup two times; national championships — more than a dozen times; National Cup — several times, plus a lot more. Dynamo Kyiv has come to be a sort of a symbol of achievements of Ukrainian national sports.Dynamo Kyiv is no doubt one of the best known
soccer clubs in Ukraine. As a matter of fact Dynamo Kyiv is probably the only Ukrainian club well known in Europe. It has won an impressive array of football trophies: the European Cup Winners’ Cup two times; national championships — more than a dozen times; National Cup — several times, plus a lot more. Dynamo Kyiv has come to be a sort of a symbol of achievements of Ukrainian national sports.

Hryhory Surkis,
Dynamo Kyiv President.

Dynamo side, 1997-1998.

Dynamo Kyiv as a soccer club came into being in November, 1927. Initially, there was only one player, the goalie Anton Idzakivsky, who took football as a full-time professional occupation, spending a lot of time at work-outs. He lived long enough to see the first successes of Dynamo in the national championships.
There is a curious fact that is worth mentioning in connection with the story of the early years of Dynamo Kyiv. In the twenties the Soviet authorities regarded football as «a bourgeois game» and banned it, lifting the ban only in 1926.
There seems nothing remarkable in the history of the club in the pre-war thirties. Even some of the best clubs — and Dynamo was not among them then — could not afford to have a professional coach, and this role was performed by a leading player. In the case of Dynamo there were two personalities who acted as coach and trainer: the goalkeeper Anton Idzakivsky and the centre-forward Konstantyn Shchehotsky who also doubled as the club’s captain. For his performance on the pitch he was nicknamed «virtuoso.»
In 1935 Dynamo had its first real coach. He was Mykhailo Tovarovsky, a graduate of the Moscow Physical Culture College. The same year saw the arrival in the club of Rafail Feldstein who became an official manager of the club and stayed with Dynamo for many years.

Oleh Blokhin,
the European Gold Ball award winner,
entering the pith to play against Spartak (Moscow)
It was in the thirties that the main principles of the Dynamo football policies were defined and put into practice and ever since Dynamo has been following them. The main principle was to train and look for the best-skilled players who were after playing good «artistic» football rather than after money.
The highest achievements of Dynamo in the thirties were the 6:1 victory over the Red Star Olympic, a strong professional side, in Paris in 1935, and the second place in the national championship in 1936. The first goal in the national championships in a game with a Moscow club was scored for Dynamo by Mykola Makhynya, a prominent player of his time.
In the Second World War the city of Kyiv and most of Ukraine were occupied by the Nazi Germans and during the occupation several of Dynamo players were shot by Nazi firing squads. There are romantic legends circulating among Dynamo club fans about Dynamo playing «a death game» against the Germans and winning, and then being put to death by the enraged losers. Historians doubt the veracity of the story but the legend lives on.
After the war, in the late forties Dynamo did not play a top-class football, sometimes suffering crushing defeats even on the home ground in games with the leading sides. But gradually the club started to get and train better players.
In 1946 the club was at the very bottom of its league and was to be transferred to a lower league and it was saved from this ignominy by Nikita Khrushchev, a Party boss and later the Soviet Premier, who, being a Dynamo fan, interceded on behalf of Dynamo with the football authorities and secured a place for the club in the top league. There were ups and downs and in 1952 Dynamo climbed to the second place in the national championship, and in 1954 the club won the National Cup beating Spartak Moscow, in the finals.
Looking at the photographs taken in the fifties one can’t help smiling: the game is concentrated at one little spot of the pitch, with the rest of the players standing idly and watching what’s going on without trying to participate; the players are wearing very long shorts, reaching below the knees and baggy shirts.
In 1961 Dynamo Kyiv won the national championship for the first time thus ending the supreme domination of Moscow clubs. But the turning point for Dynamo came somewhat later, when in 1964 Victor Maslov joined the club to work as its coach. He had gained a considerable experience coaching Moscow Spartak and SKA, Rostov-on-Don. For his genial appearance he was nicknamed «Grandpa» but behind this mild exterior was a man of steel who managed to bring together a side that could successfully compete not only in the national championships but at the international level as well. In the second half of the sixties Dynamo won the national championships and Cup several times.
Dynamo’s first international success came in 1967 when Dynamo entered the Cup-Winners Cup and defeated Celtic on aggregate. Dynamo did not win the Cup then but made a very favourable impression.

Andriy Shevchenko,
the best Ukrainian striker of 1997-1998

Leonid Buryak,
late seventies-early eighties,
one of the best half-backs in the Dynamo history.
In 1973 Valery Lobanovsky, a former player of the club, was made the Dynamo chief coach. He distinguished himself when he was a Dynamo striker and now he introduced a radically new approach to training. A scientific approach was worked out which determined the loads and duration of training periods. The players were driven really hard and it paid. By 1975 Lobanovsky had shaped a side which is looked upon now as a sort of a model team, not only for the domestic but also for the international football. Dynamo wins the European Cup-Winners Cup, than the Supercup, its players make up the Soviet national team, and in 1975 it is voted to be the best world side by the International Federation of Sports Journalists. Oleh Blokhin gets the Golden Ball European award.
Lobanovsky will surely remain in the annals of soccer as the best coach of the seventiesand eighties in the Ukrainian national and Soviet football. Dynamo kept winning the national championships, won the Cup-Winners Cup for the second time in 1986, the Soviet National Team were runners-up at the European Cup, and another of Dynamo players, Ihor Bulanov, got the Golden Ball award.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Ukrainian football was in a state of shock for some time. So many things had to be done a new: it was necessary to set up an independent soccer federation, organize a new national championship system, train referees, develop football along the professional lines, study the intricacies of international football diplomacy. Lobanovsky worked abroad and in the absence of a top-class coach Dynamo did not perform as it used to.
Things took a positive turn to the better when Hryhory Surkis, a successful businessman and a great football enthusiast, became the President of the club. He helped create favourable conditions which prompted the return of Valery Lobanovsky, and creation of the Professional Football League. It, in its turn, made it possible to work out a comprehensive programme of development of soccer in Ukraine and of training players for the Ukrainian clubs and for the Ukrainian national team. The authority of Valery Lobanovsky is very high as he, within a very short time, has managed to rekindle enthusiasm for soccer, induce the players to do better and better, develop in them an ambition to win, be it at the national or international level.
He instills confidence into the players who are not intimidated by any club in the world and can play, say, Barcelona or Uventus as equals.


Olexandr Zavarov,
in one of the best Dynamo games in the seventies.

If we wanted to mention the outstanding Dynamo players who played for the club since its foundation, the list would be a very long one indeed. Besides, a mere list of names cannot make one feel how good they were and what a pleasure it was to watch them play, but several names just have to be mentioned: goalies Makarov, Rudakov, Bannikov, Mykhailov; full-backs Troshkin, Holubev; half-backs Biba, Voynov, Muntyan, Sabo, Rats, Veremeyev; strikers Honcharenko, Kanevski, Koman, Basylevich, Lobanovsky, Mykhailychenko, Serebryanikov, Khmelnytsky, Byshovets, Blokhin, Belanov.

A new Dynamo training base.

Today there are players in the Dynamo club who are definitely on the way to become football stars: strikers Shevchenko and Rebrov, full-back Luzny, Dynamo captain Kalytvyntsev, goalie Shovkovsky. We, Dynamo fans, believe that the club will have a glorious future as it had a glorious past. Recently the club has received «a royal gift» — a training complex in Koncha Zaspa which is considered by some to be one of the best facilities of its kind in Europe. A prominent author once called Dynamo «power in movement». We are confident that this power will help Dynamo win the highest soccer trophies in the world.

By Volodymyr Mayevsky
Photos by Mykola Bochok
(Sportyvna Hazeta Newspaper)