MOSCOW: Ilya Tsymbalar, one-time playmaker of Spartak Moscow, has died at 44 after a heart attack.
Tsymbalar won six league titles with Spartak in the 1990s and was capped by Russia on 28 occasions, scoring four goals – including one against Italy at Euro 96 at Anfield.
In the confusion after the collapse of the Soviet Union he also played initially, on three occasions for his home state of Ukraine before opting, instead, for Russia.
Tsymbalar was a member of the Russian squad at the finals of the 1994 World Cup and 1996 European Championship. He was voted the Russian player of the year in 1995.
Before joining Spartak in 1993 he played for Chornomorets and SKA in his home city of Odessa. He wound down his career with Lokomotiv Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala.