MOSCOW, April 30 (R-Sport) - Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Tuesday that the country’s Cabinet debate shooting a film of legendary football goalkeeper Lev Yashin’s life, but the star's widow vowed the movie could only be made over her dead body.
Putin was asked about the topic during a televised phone-in Thursday and said at the time he would consider having the film made before Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup.
Yashin is an icon of Russian football for his heroics in the Soviet team of the 1950s and 60s and was named Keeper of the Century by FIFA in 2000.
A cabinet agenda published Tuesday on the Kremlin website includes the line: “Consider the question of the creation of a motion picture dedicated to the legendary Soviet footballer Lev Yashin.”
The proposal received a frosty reception from Yashin's widow Valentina.
"When I die, then they can make a movie and whatever comes into anyone's head, they can just do it," she told the Dozhd TV channel, explaining she had been offended by a "disgusting" biopic of former hockey and football star Vsevolod Bobrov.
A film about Yashin could mean "they'd have me there naked, or dancing, something like that," she said.
The proposal was enthusiastically backed by ex-Russia goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev, who offered to help make the film.
“I’ve thought for a long time of making a film about Lev Yashin. I’d like to take part in this project,” he said on Twitter. He added he was “well acquainted” with Valentina Yashina.
Sports film Legend No. 17, with the late hockey star Valery Kharlamov as its subject, is packing out Russian cinemas and topped box office rankings with $5.4 million taken last week, compared to $3.8 million for the top foreign film, Hollywood production Pain & Gain.