Biography of Igor Netto
Igor Netto is an outstanding football player who has become a true legend of Soviet sports. His track record includes a huge number of different medals, cups and personal awards. However, in the history of world sports, our today’s hero will remain not only as a wonderful football player, but also as a wonderful person. That is why the memory of Igor Netto is alive even many years after his death.
The early years, childhood and family of Igor Netto
Igor Alexandrovich Netto was born on January 9, 1930 in Moscow. He began to play sports since childhood, but at first for a long time he could not decide what was closer to him – football or hockey.
Football player Igor Netto became a legend of Soviet sports
The decisive role in the fate of the young athlete was played by acquaintance with representatives of the football academy of the Moscow Spartak. It was in this place that the young guy was finally finally convinced to make a choice in favor of football. As contemporaries of Igor Netto recall, the talent of this young Muscovite was already noticeable at an early age. That is why many well-known specialists wanted to have such a player in their team.
As a result, the sports academy of the Spartak Moscow football club has become a second home for an extraordinary young man. He started playing football in the early forties, and already in 1948 he played his first official match in the red and white uniform of the Moscow club for the first time. At that moment in the post-war Soviet Union, football and all the infrastructure that accompanied it were in their infancy.
Athletes did not have suitable training fields, and fans did not even have to dream of the level of comfort that modern stadiums can provide. It is for this reason that individual bright personalities played a decisive role in the development and popularization of football in the USSR – stars who became a real symbol of their generation. And Igor Netto is an excellent confirmation of this.
The career of football player Igor Netto
From the very first matches, the athlete played as an attacking midfielder. He was distinguished by his excellent ability to “see” the field, and therefore his cutting passes always posed a great danger to the opponent. In addition, the football player himself was distinguished by a perfectly delivered blow. He could shoot from a distance or effectively implement a one-on-one exit. That is why the talented Soviet football player has always been the number one star on the football field.
Having made his debut as part of the Moscow Spartak in the 1948 season, Netto almost immediately established himself in this club. Subsequently, he became the leader of the team, its captain, as well as a living legend and the embodiment of the traditions of Spartak Moscow. In total, Igor Netto spent nineteen (!) full-fledged seasons as part of the Russian club, which included 368 official and friendly games. During this time, the talented midfielder managed to win the USSR championship five times (in 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1962), and also lift the Cup of the Soviet Union three times over his head. In terms of the total number of awards, Igor Netto took second place in the USSR, only behind the legendary Ukrainian forward Oleg Blokhin.
In addition, the footballer added many individual prizes to the team awards. During his career, Igor Netto appeared thirteen times in the list of the best players in the USSR Football Championship. Moreover – twelve times in this list he took first place.
Igor Netto in the USSR national team
No less bright was the player’s career in the national team. Igor Alexandrovich played as part of the main team of the Soviet Union from 1952 to 1965. During this time, Netto managed to play 54 matches in the football team, and also scored four goals. It is noteworthy that as part of the national team, the football player played in a slightly different position than in the club and appeared most often as a defensive midfielder.
As part of the main team of the Soviet Union, the player became the winner of the 1956 Olympics, as well as the owner of the gold medals of the 1960 European Championship.
Talking about the career of Igor Netto in the USSR national team, it is worth remembering the episode that took place during the match with the national team of Uruguay. In that match, Soviet striker Igor Chislenko hit the Latin American goal from an acute angle, causing the ball to fly into the goal from the outside through a torn section of the net. Despite this, the referee allowed the goal. However, at that moment, Igor Netto intervened. As the captain of the USSR national team, the player approached the referee and insisted that the ball be cancelled. As a result, the national team of the Land of Soviets still won that match. But she did it honestly.
Igor Netto played not only football, but also hockey
Recalling interesting episodes from the player’s career, one should also mention the fact that at a certain moment Igor Netto managed to try himself as a professional hockey player as well. For the Spartak Moscow hockey club, the player played 22 official matches, during which he managed to score 29 assists.
The last years of Igor Netto
Subsequently, Igor Netto still returned to the world of football. After finishing his playing career, the midfielder wrote an autobiographical book “This is football”, dedicated to the time spent in the Moscow “Spartak”. The footballer’s memoirs were published in 1974.
In the last years of his life, Igor Netto worked as a coach. At various times, the Honored Master of Sports of the USSR coached the Cypriot “Omonia”, the Russian “Spartak” and “Shinnik”, as well as the Greek “Panionis” and the Azerbaijani “Neftchi”. In addition, in the period from 1970 to 1971, the mentor led the national team of Iran.
Personal life and death of Igor Netto
All his life, the footballer lived with one single woman – actress Olga Yakovleva. It was the player’s wife who was next to him at the moment when he began to get very sick and actually lose his memory. At the end of March 1999, the legendary football player died in Moscow. His grave today is located at the Vagankovsky cemetery.