Belanov in 2012
|Full name||Igor Ivanovich Belanov|
|Date of birth||25 September 1960|
|Place of birth||Odessa, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Attacking Midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Belanov was born in Odessa, Ukraine, Soviet Union. He started playing professionally in his hometown, with SKA Odessa and FC Chornomorets Odessa, joining country giants FC Dynamo Kyiv in 1985, and scoring ten goals in his first season, which ended with league and cup conquest.
Along with teammates Oleg Blokhin and Oleksandr Zavarov, Belanov led the scoring charts at the 1985-86 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (five apiece) as Dynamo won the competition for the second time. He played the full 90 minutes in the final against Atlético Madrid (3-0).
Midway through 1989, 29-year-old Belanov got the long-awaited clearance to join a Western European side, making a move to Germany to join Borussia Mönchengladbach. His debut in the Bundesliga came on 4 November 1989 in a 0-4 away defeat against VfB Stuttgart, but he failed to impress overall, scoring only four goals in his one-and-a-half-season stint.
Belanov moved to second level's Eintracht Braunschweig in January 1991. He made his debut for his new club on 23 February, and went on to net just 13 times in the competition in three seasons combined, also suffering relegation in 1992-93 without making a single appearance.
In 1995 Belanov returned home to Chernomorets for one season, retiring at almost 37 after a spell with FC Illychivets Mariupol, appearing in only five games in two seasons combined.
Belanov played 33 matches for the Soviet Union, scoring eight goals. His best performance came at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, where he netted four and assisted for six others as the team (which comprised 13 Dynamo Kyiv players) reached the round-of-16; he scored a hat-trick in the game against Belgium, in a losing extra time effort (3-4).
This performance at the World Cup, along with Dynamo's Cup Winners' Cup success, helped Belanov win the European Footballer of the Year award. He was also part of the squad that reached the final of UEFA Euro 1988, where the national side faced the Netherlands. With the score at 0-2, USSR were awarded a penalty: he took it, but saw goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen stop the shot as the score remained unaltered. He won 33 caps between 1985 and 1990.
Belanov was noted for his athletism, in particularly for his running speed and powerful goal strikes. He was one of the fastest sprinters among Soviet footballers of all times, together with Oleg Blokhin. However, while Blokhin was trained by his parents, who were both competitive sprinters, Belanov never received a formal sprint training; yet he ran 30 m in 3.5 seconds and 60 m within 7 seconds, a mere 0.5 seconds slower than the world record at the time.
Belanov turned to business after finishing his playing career. He returned to prominence when he became the majority shareholder at Switzerland's FC Wil, in August 2003. His predecessor, banker Andreas Hafen, had been given a five-years imprisonment sentence after embezzling 51 million Swiss francs ($40 million) from the UBS Bank.
Belanov's first move at Wil was replacing first-team manager Martin Andermatt with his former Dynamo Kyiv teammate Oleksandr Zavarov, not taking note of the fact that he lacked the necessary UEFA licence to manage a European top-division outfit. That circumstance forced Belanov to sign former FC Karl-Marx-Stadt manager Joachim Müller. Due to the appointment of Müller, Zavarov's job was officially described as director of football; Müller did not last long as coach however, as Belanov sacked him just after three months, replacing him with Tomá? Mat?j?ek.
Matejcek's strict training regiment caused a quick revolt amongst Wil players. This forced Belanov to make amends for his decisions and to re-appoint Müller as manager, and hand the assistant-manager role to former Swiss international goalkeeper Stephan Lehmann. Those turned out to be Belanov's last series of actions as Wil's major shareholder as, in a quick sequence, he pulled out of his chairman and shareholder role of the club.
|1.||2 June 1986||Estadio Sergio León Chávez, Irapuato, Mexico||Hungary||3-0||6-0||1986 FIFA World Cup|
|2.||15 June 1986||Estadio Nou Camp, León, Mexico||Belgium||1-0||3-4||1986 FIFA World Cup|
|3.||15 June 1986||Estadio Nou Camp, León, Mexico||Belgium||2-1||3-4||1986 FIFA World Cup|
|4.||15 June 1986||Estadio Nou Camp, León, Mexico||Belgium||3-4||3-4||1986 FIFA World Cup|
|5.||11 October 1986||Parc des Princes, Paris, France||France||1-0||2-0||Euro 1988 qualifying|
|6.||29 October 1986||Lokomotiv Stadium, Simferopol, Soviet Union||Norway||2-0||4-0||Euro 1988 qualifying|
|7.||29 April 1987||Republican Stadium, Kyiv, Soviet Union||East Germany||2-0||2-0||Euro 1988 qualifying|
|8.||28 October 1987||Lokomotiv Stadium, Simferopol, Soviet Union||Iceland||1-0||2-0||Euro 1988 qualifying|