Ukraine shocked by death of Andriy Bal

Andriy Bal, an important member of Valeriy Lobanovskiy's FC Dynamo Kyiv side in the 1980s who won 20 caps for the Soviet Union, has passed away at the age of 56.

Andriy Bal
Andriy Bal ©Oleksandr Zadiraka

Former FC Dynamo Kyiv, FC Karpaty Lviv and Soviet Union defender Andriy Bal has passed away at the age of 56 after suffering a heart attack during a seniors match.

Bal was centre-back for Dynamo under Valeriy Lobanovskiy throughout the 1980s, one of the finest teams of the Soviet era. He won four Top League titles, four Soviet Cups, the 1986 European Cup Winners' Cup and 20 caps for the USSR, scoring his only international goal against Brazil at the 1982 FIFA World Cup.

He also played at the 1986 World Cup, continuing a productive international career that began at youth level. He won the 1976 European youth tournament and 1980 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, and captained the USSR to FIFA U-20 World Cup glory in the inaugural 1977 competition.

Having grown up in the shadow of the Carpathian mountains, Bal was then at Karpaty Lviv, and claimed a second-tier title before moving to Kyiv. After leaving Dynamo he played for Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC and Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv FC before switching to coaching.

After spells at the helm of FC Vorskla Poltava and FC Chornomorets Odesa he returned to Kyiv to become one of former team-mate Oleh Blokhin's assistants with the national team. He was in the backroom staff for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012.

Bal has since been back at Dynamo, first as a member of the coaching staff member and more recently in a management role.