At a mere 41 spins around the sun, the former goalkeeper extraordinaire hailing from the heart of CSKA Moscow and a stalwart of the Russian national team, Veniamin Mandrykin, has taken his final bow. The news hit like a thunderbolt, as the club’s press office delivered the somber tidings via the Telegram airwaves. This goalkeeper par excellence, a maestro of the net, who time and again clinched glory with a vice grip, was no stranger to championship triumphs.
Who Was Veniamin Mandrykin?
Russian Championship, Russian Cup, Super Cup—they were all but stepping stones for this maestro who danced between the goalposts. And let’s not forget the UEFA Cup, a gleaming star in his constellation of achievements. Yet, as fate would have it, the final whistle has blown for Veniamin Mandrykin at the tender age of 41. Our thoughts sail with the wind to reach his family and friends, extending our arms in solace. Peace, dear Venya, peace.
Venturing back to where it all began, Mandrykin’s journey was woven under the watchful eye of his first coach, Valery Gorokhov. A mentor who sculpted his talents at the Spartak sports school, now known as Alania, shared a sobering truth with the pages of “The Basis” magazine: a heart attack had silenced this football luminary.
However, this tale of triumph was once derailed by a tempestuous accident in the November of 2010. With speeds matching a comet’s flight at 200 km/h, a crash shook his world, shattering his spine and entangling his spinal cord in a cruel embrace. Mobility became an unattainable dream.
Mandrykin, a fledgling introduced to the world of professional football through Alania Vladikavkaz in 1997, soon found his groove. In 2001, a new chapter beckoned, CSKA Moscow his new home ground. The rhythm of his career danced across different stages – from the capital to Tom, a loaned player in ’08, to the fields of Rostov in ’09. A decade of football’s symphony saw him at Spartak Nalchik, followed by the serenade of Dynamo Bryansk. And let’s not forget his capers with the Russian national team, a badge of honor he wore with pride on two occasions.
A juggernaut of titles, Mandrykin’s cabinet bore the weight of three Russian championships and a hat-trick of Russian Super Cups. The Russian Cup knew him as a four-time victor, while the crowning jewel of his collection gleamed in the form of the UEFA Cup in the thrilling 2004/2005 season. And speaking of crowns, the CSKA Cup became his kingdom, and he its loyal monarch. Recognition poured in, with an honorary Order of Friendship adorning his legacy in the waning days of 2006.
As the final whistle echoes through the annals of time, we bid adieu to a guardian of the goalposts. Veniamin Mandrykin, a name etched in the tapestry of football, may your journey beyond be as wondrous as your dance upon the field.