Valentin Ivanov, the legendary Torpedo Moscow and Soviet national team forward who was a joint top scorer at the 1962 World Cup, has died, the Russian Football Union announced on Tuesday. He was 76.
No date or cause of death was given in the website statement, though Russian media reported Ivanov had late-stage Alzheimer’s.
“This was a legend of the sport,” Russian Football Union head Sergei Fursenko said. “He will forever remain in our hearts.”
Ivanov will be best remembered for scoring five goals for the Soviet Union at the 1962 World Cup in Chile, sharing the Golden Shoe award with five other players.
Ivanov also shared the top scoring honors at the 1960 European Nations Cup in France, though no one striker hit more than two goals. The Soviets beat Yugoslavia 2-1 in extra time to win the tournament notable by the absence of West Germany, Italy and England, among others.
He scored 26 times in 59 appearances for the national team over the course of a decade.
Nicknamed the “Ballerina” for his fleet of foot down the wing, Ivanov spent his entire club career at Torpedo, scoring 124 goals in 287 matches. His partnership at Torpedo with Eduard Streltsov, known at home as “the Russian Pele,” was feared by defenses across the country.
His goals contributed to championship titles in 1960 and 1965.
Ivanov went on to becoming a successful coach, taking Torpedo to the league title in 1976 and winning cups in 1968, 1972 and 1986.
His son, also named Valentin, is a retired FIFA international referee who took charge of several games at the 2006 World Cup and also Euro 2004.