The original member of this hall of fame, which he has leant his name to – Viktor Leonenko was born on 5th October 1969 in Tyumen in Siberia.
Starting his career at local side Geolog Tyumen of the USSR First League in 1988, Leonenko scored 26 goals over the course of 4 seasons which brought him to the attention of Moscow giants – Dynamo. Leonenko made the transition to the top league with ease scoring 9 goals in only 16 games in what was to be the last season of the Top League before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Following the break up Leonenko moved to Dynamo Kyiv in a transfer which almost cost him 2 years of his career, thankfully the clubs resolved their dispute allowing Leonenko to become the forefront of Dynamo’s strike force. Leonenko’s first 3 seasons (1992-95) were hugely successful with Dynamo winning the Ukrainian Premier League in ’93 (24 goals), ’94 (17) and ’95 (20) while Leonenko himself picking up Ukrainian Player of the Year in ’92, ’93 and ’94. The emergence of the famous Rebrov–Shevchenko strike partnership over the next few seasons saw Leonenko become a peripheral figure at Kyiv, falling into the reserves after being classed as over weight by management at Kyiv.
Leonenko moved on to CSKA Kyiv in 1998, before signing for Zakarpattia Uzhorod in 2001 where he hung up his boots on a distinguished career.
Although born (5th Oct, 1969) and raised in Siberia, Russia, upon transferring to Dynamo Kyiv, Leonenko chose to play for the Ukrainian national side, earning 14 caps and scoring 6 goals for the fledgling national side.
Since his retirement, Leonenko has been working as a TV pundit and his views are often outspoken, provocative and divisive.
Viktor Leonenko’s Varenyky Rating: