The match in Yerevan dedicated to the 60th birthday of legendary footballer Khoren Oganesian was a real fest for football fans in Armenia.
The event that brought together world and USSR football stars like Rinat Dasayev, Leonid Buryak, Ivan Zamorano, Hristo Stoichkov, Gennaro Gattuso, Marco Materazzi, Babangida, Paulo Ferreira and others made the day special for Armenian fans.
The match ended in a 3:3 draw. Khoren Oganesian played for the USSR team. All goals were scored in the first half. Early goals from Zamoranp and Jean-Pierre Papin gave a lead to the world team.
After several substitutions the USSR team took the lead thanks to goals from Valery Gazayev, Khoren Oganesian and Igor Belanov. Ivan Zamorano scored the equalizer close to the end of the first half.
Ivan Zamorano, who played for Real Madrid and the National team of Chili, told Public Radio of Armenia after the match that he’s glad to be in Armenia and is surprised to see that many football fans in this small country.
“Sure, it’s not easy to follow Armenian football from the American continent, to know your stars. However, I’ve heard much about Khoren Oganesian and I know he’s the best footballer in Armenia of the 20th century,” Zamorano said.
Jari Litmanen of Finland, who played for Barcelona, Ajax, Liverpool and others, said he remembers Khoren Hovhannisyan, when he was a young boy. “I actually remember him from the Soviet Union National Team in late 70s and early 80s. I remember his name, but as I was too young, I can’t remember how he was as a player,” Litmannen told Public Radio.
Litmannen said he was well familiar with Armenia. He has played in Yerevan with the national team of Finland.
Asked whether it’s hard for a footballer to make the decision to end the career, he said “It’s difficult, that’s why I never stop playing. That’s why I play this kind of games.”
Most famous Armenian boxer Arthur Abraham was also at the stadium to congratulate Oganisian on 60th birthday. He said Khoren Oganisian should be an example for all young footballers.