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In April 1971, on the opening day of the All-Union Championship, the Republican Stadium was overcrowded. For the first time on the green field in the form of Ararat was supposed to appear a football player, who had been waiting for a long time.


The arrival of Eduard Markarov in Yerevan - and he was that football player - came in handy for the Ararat team. Yerevan residents needed a player who could play the role of a dispatcher. The scoring player was also in short supply. Eduard not only controlled the middle of the field, organized the attack, carried the partners forward, but I myself went to advantageous positions, and, most importantly, in most cases I confidently converted my opportunities. The forward appeared in different points of the field, performed any duties. One got the impression that Markarov felt like the master of the game, obliged to control all areas where his presence was needed. He played and led, by his own example forcing partners to be true to the game idea.

Yes, "Ararat" of the early seventies had a general game orientation, its own style of rapid development of attacks across the entire width of the field. Perhaps, in the game of the residents of Yerevan, the tendencies of the same total game, which was professed by the best football forces in Germany and Holland, were outlined. The attack at "Ararat" was underway. Eduard scored a lot (in all official games 157 goals), but he could, perhaps, hit the target more often. The fact is that Markarov the scorer never bullied Markarov the dispatcher. How many times, having found himself in a position possible for scoring, he, without hesitation, threw the ball back to his partner, who found himself in a slightly more comfortable position. And they knew how to hit on goal in the then Ararat: the class of Zanazanyan, Ishtoyan, Ghazaryan, Andriasyan was well known. What can I say, it was a team of high international class, almost all of our masters were in the list of the top thirty-three of the Union, played for the first and Olympic teams. Ararat squad participated in all three European club tournaments. Alas, the change of generations in the middle of the 70s "Ararat" could not stand. Couldn't stand it with the departure of Markarov's team? The Master was then thirty-three. As they say, play and play. But no, at 76, he had already switched to coaching, thus ending his career as a brilliant striker.

— Still, could they still play, or? .. — my conversation with E. Markarov began with this question in his cozy apartment on Sayat-Nova Street in Yerevan.

- Probably could, and more than one season. If I had not realized the only sad fact. I went all out. Fifteen or sixteen years of active play is a lot. Eternal trips, at home as a guest, eternal injuries ...—  I always got it. They did not spare, they beat. Not only was he removed, he didn’t even have a “mustard plaster”. But what of that? Many bone-breakers carried out, as it were, a special task of their "tutors", and still tried to take me out of the game. It came to curiosities. I even remember how I tried to persuade one of these "vis-a-vis" to have mercy. In response, I heard - "it will not be yet." In the second half, when he ran into me again, I deftly dodged, so much so that the rude man was seriously injured. In other words, everything happened...

- Your first coach was your father - Artem Markarov, who played for Dynamo Yerevan in 1947 and then returned to Baku. You did just the opposite...

- To be honest, back in the sixties I thought about moving to Armenia, but I still couldn’t succeed. And all the same, the seventy-first decided, for  farther  there was no way to stay there, in Baku.

“I guess I can guess why. It is true that Lev Filatov called her in his book of memoirs “In order of everything”. For many years, editing the weekly "Football Hockey", he was well aware of the "personnel policy" in football, including in "international" Azerbaijan. After all, as he wrote in his book, this personnel policy forced a number of leading Armenian football players to leave the Neftchn team.

— That's the way it was. The anti-Armenian mood has always been present in Azerbaijan, either intensifying or going underground. Say what you like, but I had to move, and it is no coincidence that all the best achievements (“Fedotov Club”, gold and silver medals, the Union Cup - moreover, twice, participation in European cups) are associated with my native Armenia.

- Well, plus to this "silver" in the spring championship of the seventy-sixth. You were the coach of the team, weren't you?

—  Unfortunately, it was not possible to develop further success. Obviously, there was not enough experience, and I did not find support.

— You are now working with juniors. Is it easier now or when adults were coaching?

“It is very interesting to work with children. As for the difficulties... I think the main thing is professionalism. A professional is quickly accepted and understood by football fans of any age group. Suffice it to recall how much such professionals as N. Glebov, N. Simonyan, V. Maslov gave Ararat. But each of them had his own style of teacher and coach.

— Learn not only from mentors, but also from teams. Did you have your own idol?

- I consider the Brazilian team of 1958 and 1970 to be almost unsurpassed. But if we talk about stability and fidelity to the gaming creed, then I admired the German national team, the Total Football of the Germans and the Dutch still gave a lot to the modern game ...

- They studied idols, admired idols and ... imitated idols? ..

- I think no. He admired, studied, but at the same time strove to remain himself, rely on his own style. How successful this is is for the fans to judge.

- Best game?

- I find it difficult to answer. After all, they, these games, are divided into significant ones (say, the cup final) and those that, as they say, turned out well, but were not included in any track record. However, if we are talking about games-holidays, of course, two matches of the seventy-third are unforgettable: the final with us from Kiev and the October game with Zenit, after which Ararat became the champion of the country.

— As far as I know, the Ararat-73 charitable society has recently been created. What is its purpose?—  The main task of our society is to help needy veterans of sports and their families, guardianship of sports schools and sections. We also hope for the support of football fans.

- Well, traditionally - about plans for the future.

- Wait and see. This year the first national championship of the Republic of Armenia is being held. This means that our football will soon officially enter the international arena. I think it's time to start forming national teams. There will be many of them. Judge for yourself: the first national, Olympic, youth and, finally, youth teams. In a word, the worries of specialists are endless.—  As a result, Eduard Markarov was and remains in football?

- There are no questions (this is Markarov's favorite expression - B. Kh.) - I can’t imagine myself outside of football ...


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