With the collapse of the USSR, many Soviet footballers rushed abroad. The unknown West beckoned, so sometimes we went somewhere anyhow – if only abroad. One of the most popular destinations for our first legionnaires was Germany. In the 1990s, for example, Yuri Savichev, Sergey Kiryakov and Valery Shmarov moved there. For a long time they played for German clubs, and someone, like Savichev, even stayed in Germany at the end of his career.
Recently we talked about the German life of the author of the last “golden” goal in the history of the USSR national teams. Yuri Savichev became a coach, but worked only with children’s teams and clubs from divisions 4-5 in Germany. Now the Olympic champion in Seoul is repairing medical equipment in a clinic in Hamburg. Fate followed a similar scenario Sergei Fokin, the former captain of CSKA and another triumph of the 1988 Games.
The author of the USSR’s golden goal at the Olympics repairs monitors in Germany. The fate of Savichev
32 years ago, Yuri made a big country happy.
Career start and transfer to the “army” club
Fokin was born in Ulyanovsk, but in 1962 his family moved to Kyrgyzstan. “The reference books write that I was born in Frunze (now Bishkek. – Approx. “Championship”), but this is not so, – Sergey explained the discrepancies in his biography. “My parents moved to Kyrgyzstan when I was one year old.” It was in the local “Alga” that Fokin started his football career. In 1984, after graduation, he was drafted into the army. They promised to do everything through pull, but they mixed up the lists and sent them to serve in Kazakhstan, on a general basis. True, six months later, Fokin was lucky – he was noticed by the major in charge of sports training. “In addition to me, there were three athletes in the company – a decathlete, a gymnast and a fencer,” Sergei recalled. – When we were all marching on the parade ground, this major took us to his gym. We trained, kept fit. Once he tells us: “Well, why are you missing here? You need to go to Alma-Ata, to SKA. I’ll try to make you documents. Maybe we can get you out of here. “
At first there was no place for Fokine in the team. They even wanted to send them back to the unit. Sergei was lucky again: there was a football fan among his superiors, who insisted on enrolling Fokin in SKA. A little later, he was at the training camp with Kairat, but Alga intervened. “A telegram came from Moscow:” Urgently send Private Fokin to CSKA. ” They gave me a plane ticket – and more. “Alga” tried. As soon as they learned that I was training at Kairat, CSKA was immediately informed. At that time there was fierce enmity between “Alga” and “Kairat”. They could let the player go anywhere, but not to Kairat, – said Sergey.
At the end of their service life, not everyone remained at CSKA. So Fokin, who for a long time could not get used to Moscow, was eager to return to his native land. Alexander Tarkhanov convinced Fokin to stay in the “army” club. “How many Tarkhanov tried to persuade me at the base! He repeated: “Seryoga, stay! There is perspective here. You won’t regret it, believe me, ”Fokin recalled. – And Sasha was right. I have not regretted. “
Success at CSKA, gold at the 1988 Olympics and moving to Germany
In the 1984 season, CSKA left the “tower” and returned back only three years later. Then – a new flight. Only in 1990 did CSKA manage to gain a foothold in the top division: CSKA immediately took second place, losing quite a bit to Dynamo Kiev. And the next year they became champions, the last in the history of the USSR championships.
The player famous for his own goals. Fokin scored against all CSKA goalkeepers in the early 90s!
The defender was unique.
All these years Fokin was the main defender of CSKA. Despite absences from the team in the first league, Fokin made a good showing. In 1987, Anatoly Byshovets invited him to the country’s Olympic team. On account of Sergei 3 matches of selection for the Games in Seoul. True, in the final tournament Fokin limited himself to only 20 minutes of playing time (in the quarterfinals with the Australians). This stems from a complex injury received by the “army man” shortly before the Olympics.
“I had an inflammation of the sciatic nerve,” Fokin said. – I was in the hospital for a long time, in the center of traumatology. When I started training, the pain returned. Gadzhiev, Byshovets’s assistant, oversized something with loads. As a result, the muscles were so tense that any acceleration was akin to torture for me. “
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For the victory in Seoul, Fokin received “stars” ahead of schedule. In 1991, after a gold double with CSKA, Sergei even rose to the rank of major. Fokin spent 9 years in the “army” club. In terms of the number of matches in CSKA, he takes 24th place (283). Repeatedly Fokin took the “army men” to the field with the captain’s armband. In 1989, Sergei got into the first national team of the USSR, where he played 3 matches. Fokin even went to the 1990 World Cup, but did not play in Italy due to old back problems.
The last champions of the Union quickly scattered in all directions – almost all of them were in demand “over the hill”. Fokine was one of the last to leave. “By the end of 1992, almost everyone had left. I was invited to England, but the management did not let me go. I found out about this, however, in hindsight. I realized that there was no point in staying at CSKA. An agent I knew offered me two options: Eintracht Braunschweig and some club from Austria. On reflection, I chose Germany, “Fokin recalled in an interview with SE.
“In Russia, life itself dictated – you can steal.” How the gold CSKA was sold
They could have become a dynasty team, but they left for Finland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. At the present time – for a penny.
“Eintracht” played in the second Bundesliga, and a little later and even flew to the Regional League. Fokin had the opportunity to move to clubs with a higher status, but Sergei decided to stay. Primarily because of the city. “We liked Braunschweig right away,” Fokine admitted. – A very nice town – small and cozy. We decided at a family council that I would play here. Even for less money. “
What is Sergei Fokin doing now
Fokine finished his career in 2000. Played, by the way, until the age of 39! There is an explanation for such football longevity – Sergei has always been a “regime officer”. There was even a bike in CSKA about how Pavel Sadyrin once came to an anniversary to some general. When asked what the team was doing now, Sadyrin allegedly answered: “Yes, everyone has gone to the taverns. Fokin alone, I suppose, is sitting at the base. ”
Sergei settled with his family in Braunschweig. In the same place, the former “soldier” got his first coaching experience – he worked as an assistant to the chief in “Eintracht”. Later, Fokine opened a small cafe, but it brought almost no income. The institution was closed, and Fokin’s work as a coach did not work out either.
Since 2003 Sergey has been working at the Volkswagen plant. There, the Olympic champion assembles chassis for cars. We managed to talk with Sergei Alexandrovich and find out what’s new in his life.
– How is your health, Sergei Alexandrovich !?
– Everything is ok, thanks. The pandemic has not yet touched our family. My wife and daughter were not sick. At work, of course, we adhere to strict precautions: masks are mandatory.
– Does your back bother you?
– How to say it … (picks up Russian words). You can live. Sometimes it hurts, like all joints.
– Do you still work at Volkswagen?
– Yes, everything is there. I also help train the local team. They asked for help with young men, 14-15 years old.
– And what kind of club? Eintracht?
– No, amateur team. I now live near Braunschweig. An urban-type settlement, in your opinion. It is called Isenbuttel. We have a team, young people also play. That’s where I help as a second coach. I cannot become the main one – my work does not allow.
– What do you do at Volkswagen? There was information that you were assembling the chassis.
– Now I was promoted: I switched to the steering assembly. More automation, a little more complicated process. I had to take refresher courses.
– Several years ago you said that you wanted to find a place for your daughter in a Volkswagen. Happened?
– No, she chose a different path. Works as a tax consultant. She studied at the university, went to the magistracy. The profession is not easy – there is a lot of data, you need to know the laws.
– Have you not become a grandfather yet?
– Not yet. The daughter lives with a boyfriend, but they are not married yet.
– Your wife seems to have worked as a pastry chef after the cafe closed?
– Yes, it was. Now he is a salesman in a supermarket.
– When was the last time you were in Russia?
– Three years ago, when the Olympic team met.
– With whom of the former partners are you in touch?
– With Yurka Savichev, of course. Sometimes we correspond with Lyosha Cherednik. Also with Prudnikov and Tatarchuk.
– Do you follow Russian football?
– Basically I just read the news. A lot of them come to the phone.
– Do you watch the matches? Maybe someone stands out in the Russian national team, in CSKA?
– I don’t watch the championship games. The national team is very rare, so it is difficult to single out someone.
– Savichev lives two hours from Braunschweig. Don’t you visit each other?
– Does not work. There is a lot of work – both for him and for me. We are all going, going … We often talk on the phone, but we have not yet been able to visit.
– In one of your early interviews, you admitted that the German language was difficult for you. How quickly did you learn?
– I began to understand completely only after two years. A year later, he began to speak normally. Of course, communication with the players in the team helped.
– In 2010 we rented an apartment. Got your own living space?
– Yes, we bought a house. We have a large plot of land: in the summer we plant tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, parsley … There is also red currant.
– Is this the Soviet mentality? Or do all Germans live like that?
– No, many people here keep their plots.
– Russian footballers are now finding it difficult to move to Europe. Why do you think?
– Everything suits them, apparently. We wanted to see life in other countries, what kind of football is there. Maybe salaries have relaxed. We, of course, also made good money, but not like now. Now those who have ambitions go to Europe. Besides, I don’t think that Russian footballers are highly regarded abroad.
– When was the last time you entered the field?
– About six or seven years ago. Veterans are invited to the games, but health does not allow.
– Do they recognize it on the streets?
– Sometimes. And only fans of “Eintracht” with experience. They remember her name – his wife was recently asked at work: “Are you Sergey’s wife?”
Finally, Sergei Aleksandrovich asked “to convey his greetings to football fans and wish everyone good health.” We pass. According to Fokine, he thought about returning to his homeland, but now he has abandoned these thoughts: “Time has passed. Age is not the same. I would be younger … “