TVL: Yuriy Yakovenko – History and future

Ο Τεντ Φαν Λέουβεν για τον Ιράκλι Μαϊσουράτζε

Pavel Yakovenko was a brilliant member of Valeri Lobanovski’s Dreamteam, that conquered the footballworld in the mid-eighties. They played as Dinamo Kiev, they played as Soviet Union. They played in a swinging and adventurous style. For once Soviet football was art and a contradiction with the harsh communist style of the regime at that time.

Oleksander Yakovenko is a breathtaking winger, who was last year on loan from Fiorentina to Malaga. Before going to the topflight, he entertained the footballovers in Belgium for many years with his magical leftfoot.

The first time I saw Yuriy Yakovenko, I had no idea he was even related to Pavel and Oleksander, whom I had seen so many times is action. Pavel is Yuriy’s father, Oleksander his brother.

Coming from a good nest, is one thing. Being one of the best strikers of his age-category, another.

When I saw him, I felt the same excitement I felt with two players before: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Gonzalo Garcia. Yuriy has a not-to-learn way of finishing. Cool, clean, calm.

Yuriy Yakovenko is 1.94m, but lightfooted as Tony Calvo. Yuriy Yakovenko is only 20 years of age, but in the 1:1 with the goalkeeper, he is as calm and precise as a surgeon. He has a natural balance above the ball and his awareness is amazing for a player his age.

He is not only tall, he is leftfooted, but has a great feeling in both of his feet. An intelligent player with a delicate technique that allows him to control even difficult balls, and above all, scoring ability. He has this gift you can recognize quality: to know where and when to expect the ball, an eye for the space: truly a fox in the box.

Of course there is an element of risk for a big club like Anorthosis to give a keyrole to an unexperiencend player. It is always hard to predict when the talent comes to blossom, because a lot of factors you cannot influence. We are aware of that. Like we are aware of our tight financial situation this year.

But, I am fully confident the team and the fans will help him to develop his skills. He is one of the best strikers in Europe in his generation, as he showed with Ukraine U21.

With the style we want to play, with the players around him, Yuriy fitted in the profile and no man was happier than me, when he agreed to come to this illustrious club.

Pavel, Oleksander and Yuriy Yakovenko. Past, present and future.


Ted van Leeuwen,


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