Born on 16 January 1958 in Rozdil, Ukraine, Andriy Bal is a former Ukrainian footballer and national team coach.
Bal started his career with his local team, The Novy Rozdol Youth Academy, which was located 8 km from his village. In 1971 Ukraine opened 3 sporting academies – in Lviv, Kharkiv and Voroshilovgrad. Bal chose the one that was the closest to him – Lviv. He was joined at the academy by his younder brother, Orest.
He was soon discovered by the local professional team, Karpaty and in 1975 he signed for them as a professional player. He spent 2 years in the academy before becoming a first team regular in 1977. During his time in the academy, his talent didnt go unnoticed, and he was called up to the Soviet U19 team and U20 team, winning the U-19 UEFA Championship in 1976 and U-20 FIFA World Cup in 1977.
In 1979, he heped Karpaty Lviv win the Soviet first league, gaining promotion to the Soviet top league. He got another call up to the Soviet national team in 1980 for the U-21 UEFA Championship, which they went on and won, earning Bal his 3rd winners medal of his career.
In 1981, his performances for club and country earned hi a move to Ukrainian giants, Dynamo Kyiv. Bal spent the majority of his career in Kyiv, a place where he won the majority of his honours as a player. From 1981 to 1990 he played for Dynamo. During this time, the team took four league titles and won the national cup on four seperate occasions. Added to the list of honours, he also picked up a UEFA cup winners cup medal in the 1986 season, when Dynamo beat Athletico Madrid, 3-0. There were 4 top goalscorers in the competition that season, each with 5 goals, 3 of them being Bal’s Dynamo team mates Ihor Belanov, Oleg Blokhin and Olexander Zavarov, two of those scoring in the final.
In 1991, at the age of 33, bal moved to Israel to play with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He played 28 times and only spent a season there, before moving across Tel Aviv to play for Bnei Yahuda. He spent two seasons at the club, with his only honour being the Toto Cup (league cup).
In 1993, he joined the Maccabi Haifa as a coach, and in his first season, they won the league. He was then appointed coordinator of the youth teams of the club where he looked after 12 teams up to 18 years old.
July 1998 saw Bal’s first crack at management, at Maccabi Herzliya. He spent a year there before being sacked in 1999. In the second half of 1999, he worked with Akoah Ramat Gan before heading back home, in the summer of 2000 when he got a job as assistant manager of Dynamo Kyiv. In early July 2001, he accepted the offer from Vorskla Poltava to become the head coach. The team started poorly and in 6 games only scored 1 goal. In August 2003, after a devastating defeat by Arsenal Kyiv, losing 0-4 at home, he parted company with the club.
After two seasons with them he was became Oleg Blokhin’s assistant coach with the Ukraine national football team. Bal was part of the coaching set up that saw Ukraine reach their first major tournament as an independant country in 2006 at the World Cup in Germany.
In 2008, Blokhin stepped down as natinal team manager and went to manage FC Moscow, where Bal would follow as assistant manager.
In 2009/2010 he decided to have another go at management with Chornomorets Odesa. He only lasted a season before rejoining Oleg Blokhin, where they went on to coach the national team again. Blokhin left in 2012 to manage Dynamo Kyiv, which gave Bal a chance to impress when he became caretaker manager of the national team for two games. Unfortunately, he only managed a draw and a defeat and in 2013, new manager Mykhaylo Fomenko was appointed.
Andriy Bal passed away on 9 August 2014 while playing in a charity football match for a Dynamo Veterans team as a result of a blood clot.
Andriy Mykhailovych Bal, we welcome you to the Viktor Leonenko Hall of Fame.
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