Igor Belanov, the Soviet midfielder who scored this formidable hat-trick against the Belgians at the 1986 World Cup, did not have it easy then.
Many of us think of him when we talk about Russian football. It doesn’t matter if it was the Soviet Union and if he’s not Russian: Igor Belanov remains the player who scored the most. Thirty-five years after his hat-trick against the Devils at the World 86 (4-3 for Belgium in the round of 16), there is always an opportunity here to quote the name of the native of Odessa in Ukraine, whether it is after a magnificent goal, an epic match or a Belgian achievement.
However, we cannot say that Belanov is doing a lot to keep people talking about him. He does not like interviews (he did not respond to our request by the way) and he has not done much to score since the three fantastic goals planted in Jean-Marie Pfaff. Of all the Ballons d’Or still alive, he is undoubtedly the most discreet. But what has become of this small but strong midfielder since that crazy Mexican night?