Oct 17, 2020
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He guarded prisoners and quarreled with Romantsev. Five stories about Andrey Tikhonov

Legendary forward of Spartak Andrey Tikhonov October 16 celebrates its 50th anniversary. I can't even believe it - always slender, fit, it seems, even now he is ready to enter the field. recalls five stories about the 8-time Russian champion.

Served in the army, guarded prisoners

Good and talented football players, as a rule, do not get into the army. And if they do, then they go to a sports company, where they continue to do what they love - to play football for the local army team. But the legendary Spartak player Andrei Tikhonov does not belong to this number. Fate has prepared a test for him in the form of a real service.

As expected, Tikhonov was drafted into the army at the age of 18, and, in his own words, he had no particular desire to serve. There was a hope of getting into CSKA-2, but it did not grow together, and therefore he was sent to the Krasnoyarsk Territory (the village of Novobiryusinsky, Taishetsky District) to guard the prisoners. This is how Tikhonov himself recalled that segment of his life in an interview with the Championship:

“Has this experience helped in your career in any way? Yes. First of all, in the formation of character. When at the age of 18 you find yourself in the taiga and guard the zone ... I think that professionals should have been sent there, but not children. 18 years is not enough to stand on a tower and decide whether to shoot a person.

When I was still a trainee, some prisoner climbed into the KrAZ and went to ram: he broke through three fences in the car. But he did not manage to escape, he simply ran across the road and crashed into another zone.

There, every day I had to overcome. That was still the USSR, so there were all nationalities in the army. People came from villages and did not even understand your words. I was then a sergeant and felt that every nation has its own specifics. Someone, for example, never held a rag in their hands, because they consider it unworthy of a man. "

How was removed from "Spartak"

After the army adventures, Andrei Tikhonov returned to football, although before that he had not touched the ball for two years. His first team was the Vympel club from the Moscow Region Korolev, and then he moved to Titan (Reutov). There he was noticed by the breeders of "Spartak", inviting him to the backup team.

Well, since 1992, a great career began, which allowed Tikhonov to become a legend of red and white. During this time, Andrey won eight league titles, two Russian Cups, played dozens of matches in the Champions League, having played 261 matches in all tournaments and scoring 90 goals.

Andrey Tikhonov.  1996 year
Andrey Tikhonov. 1996 Photo: RIA Novosti / A. Rodionov

But in 2000, the fans were in for a real shock: the head coach Oleg Romantsev decided to remove Tikhonov from the team, calling him "waste material". And it happened shortly after a season in which the attacking midfielder scored 19 goals and made 16 assists.

There were a lot of rumors around Romantsev's scandalous decision - either they had a fight after the lost match to Real Madrid, or there were intrigues of the second coach Vyacheslav the Terrible... The fact remains that Tikhonov was forced to leave the team. The fans could not forget this story for a long time, at each match they chanted Tikhonov's name and hung banners in his soul.

Perhaps Tikhonov's scandalous departure from Spartak is one of the loudest stories of all Russian football.

Return and farewell match

It was difficult to imagine Tikhonov in a shirt other than Spartak's, but it still happened - in subsequent years the footballer played for the Israeli Maccabi, Krylia Sovetov (Samara), Khimki near Moscow and Lokomotiv Astana.

But all this time he remained red and white, which he admitted more than once in interviews. And one day his dream to return to his home became a reality - Valery Karpin in 2011, he invited Tikhonov to the coaching staff of Spartak. Andrei was at that time 40 years old, and the club decided to arrange a farewell match for the legend. And not friendly with friends, but within the framework of the championship - official.

Andrey Tikhonov and Valery Karpin.  2011 r.
Andrey Tikhonov and Valery Karpin. 2011 Photo: RIA Novosti / Alexander Stupnikov

In September, Tikhonov, who was declared for the team, came out in the first squad against Krylia Sovetov and, with the score 0: 0, gave an assist Aiden McGeady, which made all 35 thousand fans who came to Luzhniki roar. And during the break of the match, Tikhonov made a circle of honor together with his sons.

The main salvation in a career

The most surprising thing is that when the brightest episodes from Tikhonov's career are recalled, the first thing that comes to mind is not one of his more than a hundred goals, but ... a goalkeeper's salvation in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup match against the Danish Silkeborg ... In that game, Andrey scored two goals, Spartak was leading 3: 0, but conceded two goals towards the end, and in the last minutes the referee sent off the goalkeeper of the red and white Ruslana Nigmatullina... All the changes had been made by that time, and Tikhonov stood in the gate, putting on his colleague's gloves. The free kick turned out to be extremely dangerous, and everyone had already seen the ball in the goal, but Tikhonov in the throw tightly covered the ball, bringing the team a victory.

In the midst of a fight

Currently, Tikhonov is also closely associated with football. As a coach, he managed to work in his native Spartak, Krasnodar, Yenisei and Wings of the Soviets, which he left in 2018. In the meantime, Andrei Valerievich is a permanent expert on Match TV, and at the same time plays for TV people at various tournaments.

One of these recent meetings ended in a huge scandal when Roman Shirokov beat the referee who showed him a red card. Tikhonov found himself at the epicenter of events, trying to peacefully resolve the issue, but this did not work out - a criminal case was opened against Shirokov, and the footage of the beating hit the screens.

Tikhonov, in his 50s, is still in the spotlight. Happy anniversary, Andrey Valerievich!

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