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FC Shakhtar Donetsk

FC Shakhtar Donetsk

FC Shakhtar Donetsk is a professional football club based in donetsk, ukraine founded in 1936.

In 2014, due to the Russo-Ukrainian War, the club was forced to move to Lviv, and had played matches in Lviv (2014–2016) and in Kharkiv (2017–2020) whilst having its office headquarters and training facilities in Kyiv. In May 2020, Shakhtar started to play home matches at NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kyiv.

Shakhtar has appeared in several European competitions and is often a participant in the UEFA Champions League. The club became the first club in independent Ukraine to win the UEFA Cup in 2009, the last year before the competition was revamped as the Europa League. FC Shakhtar Donetsk is one of two Ukrainian clubs, the other being Dynamo Kyiv, who have won a major UEFA competition.

The club formerly played its home matches in Donetsk at the newly built Donbass Arena, however, due to the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014, the team were forced to relocate 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) to the west in Arena Lviv in the interim. Following the winter break of the 2016–17 season the club then moved again to the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv (250 kilometres (160 mi) to the northwest of Donetsk) early in 2017. In May–July 2020 Shakhtar played home matches at NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kyiv.

Shakhtar Donetsk is one of Ukraine's most popular football clubs, and is particularly favoured in the eastern Donbas region.

The club draws its history from the very start of the Soviet football league competitions and is one of the oldest clubs in Ukraine. The club was a member of the Soviet Voluntary Sports Society of Shakhtyor, having connections with other Soviet teams from Karaganda (Kazakhstan), Soligorsk (Belarus), among others. In the late Soviet period, Shakhtar was considered a tough mid-table club of the Soviet Top League and a cup competition specialist after winning the Soviet Cup two years in a row in 1961 and 1962.

The team has played under the following names: Stakhanovets (1936–46), Shakhtyor (Shakhtar) (1946–92), and FC Shakhtar (1992–present).


Early years – first two decades

The team in 1937.

See also: FC Shakhtar Horlivka and FC Metalurh Donetsk

The club Shakhtar was originally formed on a decision of the All-Union Council on physical culture and sports of 3 April 1936 and was initially named Stakhanovets, meaning "the participant of Stakhanovite movement", which derived from Aleksei Stakhanov, a coal-miner in the Donets basin and propaganda celebrity in 1935. The first team was based upon two other local teams, the participants of the All-Ukrainian Spartakiads: Dynamo Horlivka and Dynamo Stalino. The first game was against Dynamo Odessa as part of the 1936 Cup of the Ukrainian SSR (at that time known as Ukrainian spring challenge) and took place on 12 May 1936 at Balitsky Stadium in Horlivka (the first home stadium). The team that played as Stakhonovets Horlivka lost it 3–2 after scoring the first goal by Mykhailo Pashchenko,[a] the second goal belonged to Boris Terentiev.[6]

Its first league game in Group V took place on 24 May 1936 against Dynamo Kazan was even more disappointing, which miners lost 4–1. Stakhonovets that had on its roster 15 players left for Kazan by train on 20 May.[6] Beside players, as part of delegation there were representative of regional council of physical culture Gololobov and republican referee I.Rozanov.[6] The team returned to Stalino on 28 May and the same day Gololobov in interview to newspaper "Stalinskiy rabochiy" told that "... the game in Kazan with local "Dynamo" was witnessed by 3,000 spectators.[6] With the first minutes, the field hosts offered a high pace.[6] "Miners", a road weary, could not respond with the same and already on 13th minute conceded the first goal and by the end of first half two more.[6] In many respects the reason was poor performance of right halfback Kutsev (who played instead of K.Pashchenko) and right outside forward Korotynsky.[6] Through their flank Dynamo players successfully attacked.[6] In the first half Stakhanovets forwards looked bleak and uncertain.[6] In the second half the game equalized and on 55th minute Fedor Manov opened score to Donetsk team goals.[6] Final score is 4:1 in favor of the hosts."[6]

Nonetheless, the selective job conducted constructively by the club's administration allowed the club to compete successfully at the top level by the end of the 1930s. During the war championship of 1941, which was interrupted unexpectedly, the club defeated Soviet champions Dynamo Moscow and after about ten games were placed in fifth in the league. In the last game of that championship, played on 24 June, two days after the start of the Great Patriotic War,[7] which they lost at home to Traktor Stalingrad.[8] During the war many players went to frontlines and perished among which are Ivan Ustinov, Ivan Putyatov, Volodymyr Shkurov, Ivan Horobets, Mykhailo Vasin and others.[5] From the pre-war squad in 1945 there were left only three players Georgiy Bikezin, Mykola Kuznetsov, and Petro Yurchenko.[5]

The All-Union coal mining society of Stakhanovite (Stakhanovets) had changed its name in July 1946 to Shakhtyor (Shakhter) and so did the Sports Society of Donbas Miners. In 1950, Viktor Fomin was named Ukrainian Footballer of the Year, despite the club finishing only 11th in the league. The first success for the team was in 1951, when it achieved third place in the USSR Championship. The most notable player of that achievement was the striker Aleksandr Ponomarev, who came to finish his football career in Donbas, the region he was born in, and was named Ukrainian Footballer of the Year for 1951. Despite the latest achievement, Shakhtar was relegated at the end of the 1952 season and as part of the re-organization of the team, former player Aleksandr Ponomarev became the head coach of the club. In 1954, Shakhtar under Ponomarev won the Class B League, thus sealing a return to the top league.

Cup triumphs and establishment in the Soviet League

A star in the Shakhtar Walk of Fame in honor of Oleg Oshenkov, who as manager twice lead Shakhtar to Soviet Cup victory.

In 1958, the players of the club received fewer yellow and red cards than any other team in the championship, for what the Sovetsky Sport newspaper awarded the club with the "Fair Play Award."[9] In the 1960s, Shakhtar, under Oleg Oshenkov's coaching, were three-time USSR Cup finalists, winning it twice in 1961 and 1962. Among the players playing for the club then where defenders Viacheslav Aliabiev and Vladimir Salkov. The club was nicknamed "The Cup Team" due to Shakhtar's success in vying for the trophy every year. The Miners’ more notable achievements, however, occurred later from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.

A star in the Shakhtar Walk of Fame in honor of Vitaliy Starukhin, considered by many fans the greatest player in the history of Shakhtar.[10]

Despite the departure of the team's leader midfielder Anatoliy Konkov, in 1975, Shakhtar under management of former player Vladimir Salkov, earned second place in the USSR Championship and received the right to represent the Soviet Union in European competition. At the end of the season, Shakhtar received the Progress Cup for making the biggest progress from previous season in the league (they received the award again in 1977). In 1978, Shakhtar finished third in the USSR Championship. A year later, the team finished second in the league campaign and its captain—striker Vitaliy Starukhin—became the top scorer in the USSR Championship with 26 goals scored, also being named Soviet Footballer of the Year. The club was only two points away from the first place, despite having important players leaving the club before the season, and other important players receiving injuries.[11] Other important players besides Starukhin at the time were Mykhaylo Sokolovsky, who went on to set a caps record for the club (for what he received the Club Loyalty Award in 1987), defenders Viktor Zvyahintsev and Valeriy Horbunov, who both made it numerous times to the 33 Top Players of the Soviet Championship lists, and goalkeeper Yuriy Dehteryov, who was named Soviet goalkeeper of the year and took third place for Soviet Footballer of the Year in 1977.[10]

Shakhtar twice, in 1980 and 1983, brought home the crystal USSR Cup to Donetsk and in 1983, it won the USSR Super Cup over then-domestic league champions Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Shakhtar reached the 1983–84 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final, and strikers Viktor Hrachov and Serhiy N. Morozov became joint top scorers of the tournament. In 1987, Shakhtar received the fewest yellow and red cards in the championship, for which the club was awarded the "Soviet Top League Fair Play Award" by Man and Law magazine.[12] Between 1982 and 1988, Shakhtar received the "Together With The Club" award five times, an award given for good organization of home games and behaviour of the home fans.[13]

First decade in independent Ukraine – the beginning of the Akhmetov era

In the newly independent Ukraine, Shakhtar, along with Dynamo Kyiv, became perennial first place competitors. In October 1995, a bombing-assassination took place at the team's stadium, killing club president Akhat Bragin. In the year that followed, Rinat Akhmetov took over as president and subsequently invested heavily in the club.[14]

Despite Shakhtar not being a strong contender for the championship at the time, finishing second many times with a large point gap from the first-place position, they won the Ukrainian Cup three times, in 1995 (under the management of former player Vladimir Salkov), 1997 and 2001. In the 1997–98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Shakhtar were eliminated after a 5–2 aggregate loss to Vicenza, losing the first and second legs. Important players at the time were defenders Serhiy Popov and Mykhaylo Starostyak, goalkeeper Dmytro Shutkov, striker Oleh Matveyev (who was top scorer of the Premier League in the 1996–97 season), and midfielders Hennadiy Orbu, Valeriy Kriventsov and Ihor Petrov. Most of the players playing for the team of the time came through the team's youth ranks.

Shakhtar's jersey with DCC instead of SCM

Towards the end of the decade, the team finally started to look like a team able to become champion. In 1999, a Shakhtar football academy was opened and now hosts football training for roughly 3,000 youth. In 2000, Andriy Vorobey was named Ukrainian Footballer of the Year by Komanda, the first Shakhtar player in independent Ukraine to do so, and became the top scorer in the 2000–01 Ukrainian Premier League. That year, Shakhtar competed in the UEFA Champions League for the first time, drawn in a group with Lazio, Arsenal and Sparta Prague. They finished third in the group, qualifying for the UEFA Cup after a 3–0 home win against Arsenal.



Further reading


Documentaries, videos and podcasts



May 20, 2020

Философия ФК Шахтер

October 20, 2017

ШАХТЁР - ЧЕМПИОН!!!! (11.06.2002)

November 30, 2018

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