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Watch: Prolific Soviet forward Ponedelnik dies at 83

Viktor Ponedelnik, whose goal earned the Soviet Union the title in the inaugural European championships in 1960, has died at the age of 83, the Russian football federation said on Sunday.

Ponedelnik’s header in extra-time against Yugoslavia gave the Soviets a 2-1 victory in the final in Paris.

“It was the greatest moment of my life,” he said.

Four years later, Ponedelnik helped the Soviets reach the European final in Spain but they were beaten 2-1 by the host nation. 

He was also part of the USSR team that reached the quarter-finals of the 1962 World Cup in Chile.

Ponedelnik scored 20 goals in 29 appearances for the USSR.

UEFA’s Russian-language site described him as a “hero and legend” on Sunday.

Ponedelnik began his career playing for teams in his native Rostov-on-Don before going on to join CSKA and Spartak Moscow.

After his playing career, he coached the Rostselmash club in Rostov-on-Don and also worked as a sports journalist.


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