Soviet goalkeeper Rinat Dasaev was renowned as one of the top players in his position throughout much of the 1980s. He began his career in 1976 with his hometown club of Volgar Astrakhan, where his form over two seasons earned him a move to Spartak Moscow. Quickly becoming established as first choice keeper for Spartak, he earned international recognition for the first time in the autumn of 1979.
Spartak won the Soviet league title that same year, and Dasaev’s international profile rose with participation in the European Cup where Spartak fell to Real Madrid in the quarter finals. The World Cup in Spain in 1982 provided Dasaev with his first taste of a major international tournament, but even though he kept two clean sheets in the second round group games with Poland and Belgium, the Soviets narrowly failed to reach the last four.
Domestically, the early 1980s were a time of frustration as Spartak finished as runners-up in the league five times in six seasons between 1980 and 1985, but Dasaev achieved rare individual success for a goalkeeper when he was named as Soviet player of the year in 1982. A second appearance in the World Cup, in Mexico in 1986, brought more frustration with a narrow second round defeat to Belgium, 4-3 after extra-time.
Spartak finally broke their run of finishing second in 1987, Dasaev claiming his second league championship medal, and the following year brought his greatest involvement in an international tournament. The Soviet Union won their first round group in the European Championships in West Germany, and Dasaev kept a clean sheet as Italy were beaten 2-0 in the semi final. However, he was powerless to stop Marco van Basten’s wonderful volleyed goal in the final as the Netherlands gained revenge for a group stage defeat with a 2-0 win.
1988 saw Dasaev leave the Soviet Union to play for Seville in Spain, but his career was now beginning to wind down. Having captained the Soviet team in their first game of the 1990 World Cup in Italy, a 2-0 defeat to Romania, Dasaev was dropped for the other two group games and did not play for his country again. Retiring from playing when his contract with Seville ended in 1991, he has since worked as an assistant coach with the Russian national team and with Torpedo Moscow.