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The 60th anniversary of the legendary Armenian football player Eduard Markarov was celebrated on a grand scale at the Hrazdan stadium. The theatrical show performance was a great pleasure for football fans. The program of the festive evening was opened by a match between the veterans of the USSR national team and twice the winner of the Cup of the Republic / "Mika". The national team included such Soviet football stars as Andrey Biba, Murtaz Khurtsilava, Tevgiz Sulakvelidze, Valery Porkuyan, Manuchar Machaidze, Armenian football stars Hovhannes Zanazanyan, Nikolai Ghazaryan, Alyosha Abrahamyan, Sergey Poghosyan, Norayr Mesropyan, Khoren Ovaiesyan and others. But, of course, the focus was on the hero of our football goal Eduard Markarov, who played both in the veterans' team and in the "Mika" team. And even years later, the skill of a football magician has not faded. Eduard Markarov became the author of 2 goals, the match ended with the score 2:2. Then it was time for numerous congratulations and gifts. Eduard Markarov drove into the stadium in a phaeton and left in a Mercedes he received as a gift. This is how the honoring of the remarkable football master took place. At the end of the evening there was a concert with the participation of our pop artists. The performance ended with colorful fireworks.


The stadium "Hrazdan" is festively decorated again. This time in honor of the 60th anniversary of Eduard Markarov, one of the brightest representatives of Armenian football. The eastern tribune was framed by the Flag and the Emblem of the Republic of Armenia, the symbols of Erebuni-Yerevan, "Ararat-73", and between them a large poster "Eduard Markarov-60, champion of the USSR and winner of the Cup." The "Mika-Armenia" billboard reminded of the sponsor of this event. The western stand, as in the old glorious years, was full of fans, football fans, admirers of the brilliant talent of the famous athlete. It is pleasant to note that among those present there were representatives of both the older and younger generations of fans. Football united all generations. It was at this stadium that the chronicle of the glorious victories of our football was written, starting from May 19, 1971. How many stars shone then at the Hrazdan stadium! Every centimeter of the stadium is saturated with the excitement and joy of the Armenian fans. It was here that Eduard Markarov delighted them with his skill. Unforgettable years. Unfading memories. And as if from the past, beautiful home-made cars with portraits of the hero of the day drove into the stadium. Then a carriage drove out onto the field, drawn by magnificent white horses, in which sat the proud and happy hero of the occasion. The stands greeted him with a standing ovation.


The holiday has begun. The voices of well-known commentators Georgy Sarkisyants and Suren Baghdasaryan sounded on the air. We are all lucky with anniversaries, they noted. Only 2.5 months ago, the 75th anniversary of Nikita Simonyan was publicly celebrated at the Hrazdan stadium, and today another great Armenian, Eduard Markarov, is paid tribute. Who loves football, he bows before Markarov. We, sometimes modest, do not exalt our geniuses, but meanwhile, as Georgy Sarkisyants correctly noted, Eduard Markarov can also be counted among the galaxy of great football players like Pele, Garincha, Maradona, Eusebio, etc.. After Harutyun Keheyan, who is completely devoted to Armenian football, Eduard Markarov became the second and last Armenian football player who was awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports of the USSR. Champion of the Soviet Union and twice Cup winner, silver and bronze medalist, bronze medalist of the world championship (1966), member of the club. Grigory Fedotov, who scored 159 goals, and at the age of 20 he was the main scorer of the USSR championship with 16 goals, the honored coach of the Republic, the head coach of the Mika team and other numerous titles and titles adorn the glorious path of Markarov in football. Eduard Markarov is a legend, an idol of millions, an example to follow. Markarov's name is surrounded by many legends. Here is one of them: Markarov's mother first gave birth to a soccer ball, and then the owner of this ball.

Numerous congratulations and warm wishes were expressed to the hero of the day. By the decree of President Robert Kocharyan, Eduard Markarov was awarded with a Letter of Appreciation for his contribution to the development of Armenian football and in connection with his 60th birthday, which was presented to the hero of the day by the Chief Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia, Chairman of the Sports Committee Armen Grigoryan. Yerevan Mayor Robert Nazaryan presented Eduard Markarov with the "Yerevan" order. After that, the game began between the USSR national team and "Mika" in Ashtarak. Again, the voice of the commentator sounded on the air: “I,” said Georgy Sarkisyants, “I will comment on the game of the national team, and Suren Baghdasaryan will tell about Mika.” The team included first-rate stars: the pride of Georgian football Murtaz Khurtsilava, Tengiz Sulakvelidze, Manuchar Machaidze , Levan Nodia, David Gogia, Sergey Kutivadze, Vakhtang Koridze, Ukrainians Valery Porkuyan, Andrey Biban*, Nikolay Bogdanov, Russian football players of the middle generation Valery Gladilin, Sergey Gorkulovich, our brilliant stars Hovhannes Zanazanyan, Alyosha Abrahamyan, Suren Martirosyan, Nikolay Kazaryan, Norik Mesropyan, Sergey Poghosyan, Khoren Hovhannisyan, Samvel Petrosyan, Samvel Kasaboghlyan and, of course, Eduard Markarov.In the first half of the match, the hero of the day played in Miki's squad, and a football performance began with the participation of living football legends and young, ambitious athletes of Miki. The skill of the veterans of the USSR national team evoked exclamations of delight and admiration in the stands.The name of each of these players evokes in the memory of older fans generation a lot of memories, unforgettable moments of joy and delight. Georgy Sarkisyants and Suren Baghdasaryan shared their personal memories. It is obvious that the young players of "Miki" treated the veterans with emphatic respect. And rightly so, because they once made millions of fans happy. And Markarov...  


The hero of the day was in his element that day. As if rejuvenated by 30 years, Markarov played as in his best years. Of course, his wards from "Miki" did everything so that on this day the laurels went to the hero of the day, their idol. It was necessary to see with what ease and plasticity the 60-year-old Markarov gave out magnificent pas with the ball at the opponent's goal. We again saw filigree passes. It would be great if the magical skills of our veterans were transferred to young players, and, without a doubt, they would be successful in European tournaments. No wonder they say that skill does not disappear, even after decades. I also note that the referee in this game was the international category orbiter Henrik Nalbandian. He was assisted by international orbiters Vladimir Sharoyan and Alyosha Babayan. The match was held in an atmosphere of triumph of football skill, mutual respect for each other and a passionate desire to score. 

In the first half of the match, the gates of the USSR national team were defended by David Gogia, whose swift reaction saved the gates more than once after Markarov's dangerous blows, for which he received a thunderous applause from the audience. In the second half, he was replaced by Alyosha Abrahamyan, who was also not deprived of attention. Reliable at the gate was the goalkeeper of "Miki" and the youth team of Armenia Felix Hakobyan. There was an amazing lightness in the game of the veterans of the national team, a keen sense of place and time. Such skill was demonstrated during the match more than once. Eduard Markarov scored two goals in this game. The other two goals were scored by Levan Nodia and Hayk Harutyunyan. After the break, the hero of the day played with his old and good friends as part of the Soviet Union national team. And thousands of fans, as if scrolling through a film of 30 years ago, once again became eyewitnesses of the football of former years. So it began to seem when the stars Zanazanyan-Ghazaryan-Ovanesyan-Markarov began to interact on the field. My God, what was happening on the field: here is a rapid breakthrough, jewelry transfers, complete mutual understanding and the highest technique. It's not for nothing that our idols are on the field - "Ararat-73".

The game ended with the score 2:2. The players left the arena to thunderous applause from the audience. There were words of gratitude and admiration for the football hero and his friends. Glory to Markarov, glory to football.



July 10, 2002, No. 30 (332)

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