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    Lev Yashin

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    October 22, 1929 – March 20, 1990

    Over the years, we got quite a few suggestions to profile Lev Yashin, which seems to be rather strange. Is it because of his first name, Lev, which seems to be Jewish? Well, it's just the Russian version of Leo, and quite a few goyishe Russians have that name. (For instance, one Lev (Leo) Tolstoy.)

    In any case, Yashin was a soccer goalkeeper in the 1950s and 60s, and is still regarded as one of the greatest at his position of all time. He is the only goalie ever to win the Golden Ball, Europe's highest individual soccer honor. He played in four World Cups, won a European Championship and an Olympic gold medal, was named the best goalkeeper of the 20th century... So, clearly, if he was Jewish, we would be all over this. And considering we've already written 2700 profiles, you can draw your own conclusion.

    Yet here is a strange footnote: Yashin might not have been Jewish, but he had a Jewish... leg. Late in his life, Yashin had to have his leg amputated. He then visited Israel, where a Jewish Russian emigre presented him with a gift: an artificial leg (of much better quality than his Soviet-made original). Yashin gladly accepted.

    Quite silly, we know. But not as silly as suggesting that Lev Yashin could have been Jewish...

    Verdict: Not a Jew.

    June 5, 2019

    See Also

    Oliver Kahn

    Lev Kamenev

    Lev Landau

    Boris Razinsky

    Leo Tolstoy
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