The Pick: The most famous player during the era of the USSR (which we Yanks tried to ensure was as short as possible) was Lev Yashin, who is remembered today as perhaps the greatest GK of all-time. He played between the posts for the Soviets in 78 matches and ceded only 70 goals. His pro career was also stellar, and Dynamo Moscow supporters celebrated each of his +400 clean sheets. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s four, zero, zero. 400.
The Flick: Wow. He was also named to two World Cup Best XI lists, and the trophy for the best GK at the World Cup is now named for him. But, who can play him in my fictional film about his life? Well, let’s see, I don’t know much about Russia except what I saw in The Hunt for Red October, so I will pick someone from that fabulous film. So, it’s got to be either Connery or Baldwin. I’m going to go with a circa “Dr. No” Connery. I think he could portray Yashin perfectly.
Well, so long as he could master the accent again.
The Limerick: Um, wait, he never mastered it the first time! Here is Yashin’s yarn:
Yashin manned the net for the “Hammer and Sickle”
For several strikers, he presented quite a pickle
He was tall and lean
And his sheets were clean
Unless he just treated his queen to a tickle