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Leonid BURIAK: Dynamo pass and set pieces genius (+ VIDEO)

Leonid Buriak has got a significant place in FC Dynamo Kyiv glorious history as a skillful player, who knew what’s what in football.

He was a great assistant, able to perform a long ball and unleash a powerful well-placed shot from distance. Set pieces were his trademark. Experienced supporters still remember them…

Great hopes

He started playing football for Prodmash factory in 1963. In 1966 he joined the school #6. Later rumors about talented kid featuring for Odesa youth appeared. Thus he was spotted by FC Chornomorets Odesa reserve team.

After the first training match the head coach Serhiy Shaposhnykov asked Leonid to weigh in. It turned out that his weight was less than 50 kg. After that Buriak worked only in the gym.

In 1972 Leonid was offered to join FC Dynamo Kyiv. Shaposhnykov tried to persuade Buriak not to leave as true masters played in the White-Blues midfield. Still a year later he bid Leonid farewell as he went to Kyiv.

Scoring debut

A lot of Soviet Top League clubs struggled for talented player! Leonid joined the one that was closer to his home.

It didn’t take Buriak a lot of time to get used to Dynamo. His best friend Oleh Blokhin featured for Kyivans. He also was acquainted wit a lot of other performers. Soon Leonid got the starting spot.

Buriak made his debut in Soviet Top League on August 20 1973 as Dynamo faced FC Ararat Yerevan. He made a substitute appearance in the second half and it took him 20 minutes to hit the target.

Leonid netted the ball from distance. Kyivans won the game – 3:1.

Man for all seasons

Leonid Buriak demonstrated his best play when Dynamo opposed his compatriots. He had some special passion when Kyivans faced Chornomorets.

The same was when the White-Blues played against European top clubs. One of his most important goals is the one he scored against PSV Eindhoven in the 1975 Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal. He headed the ball in very spectacularly.

In the final match against Ferencvárosi TC one of three goals netted by Dynamo (Volodymyr Onyshchenko) was the result of combination started by Buriak.

Conflict and leave-taking

Leonid Buriak made 386 appearances for Dynamo (50 in euro cups) and netted 106 goals.

He is 1975 Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup winner, Soviet Top League fivefold triumphant and USSR Cup threefold holder.

Buriak featured for USSR national team for 9 years (1974 – 1983). He has 53 caps and eight goals to his name. In 1976 he got Olympic Games bronze.

In early 1980s many experienced players left Dynamo and youth came instead. Defeats interchanged glorious victories. They started looking for reasons for failures in old-timers Blokhin and Buriak.

Before the start of 1985 season some ill-wishers told Lobanovskyi that Blokhin and Buriak wanted to topple him. There was a conflict and eventually Leonid left the team.

Coaching field

Leonid Buriak made his first steps as a coach in Finland. From 1988 till 1989 he was KPT-85 on-the-field coach. In 1990 he joined the team called VanPa.

In 1991 he went to the USA and was under the charge of EvansvilleUniversity team. After return to motherland he worked for FC Nyva Ternopil and FC Chornomorets Odesa.

In 1995 Buriak joined Ukraine national team coaching staff. In 2001 he became the Yellow-Blues head coach. In 2005 Leonid headed FC Dynamo Kyiv, but resigned the office after defeat against FC Thun.

Later Buriak became a good football expert.

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