Alakbar Mammadov | Neftchi

“Neftchi” Professional Football Club

Alakbar Mammadov

Azerbaijani football player Alakbar Mammadov’s striker talent crossed border of our republic and initially reached to Soviet Union and then spread through the whole world. He was born in Baku on May 9th, 1930. He spent a hard and memorable life. At the early age he lost his father and later his sister and brother. Mammadov lived under care of his mother. Due to the hard life level, he started working when he was still a child and with this he helped his mother. Like all other children at that period, he also began to learn secrets of football playing "street football”. Particularly chasing the ball on fields of "Soldier market” and "Salyan barracks” Mammadov soon after that was invited to a junior team of Spartak society. In 1945, when Spartak was sent to Moscow to participate in central council’s championship, Alakbarov was also in the team. Mammadov distinguished in those games too and heard pleasant words from Jmelkov and Akimov, famous footballer of that period.

Distinguishing with his talent Alakbarov was invited to Neftyanik. Then he was just at the age of 17. Although being too young, he managed to
adapt in the team very quickly and became one of the main figures of the squad for a long time. In 1949, when Neftyanik entered to the championship, Alakbarov was in the team. Despite of changes in the team, he was still one of the main figures of the team. During that season Alakbar appeared on the field together with the captain footballer Naum Naumtsev and Isay Abramashvili. Although demonstrating a perfect game in the next football season, Neftyanik could not save its position in the championship. Although scoring only 9 goals in the championship during two seasons, Alakbarov was very helpful to his team. Having the ability to make confusion in the rival’s part, one defender was not enough to stop him. And Alakbar’s teammates took advantages of this.

In 1951, Neftyanik went to B division and Mammadov became the main shooter of the team. He appeared in all 34 matches of the season and managed to score 21 times. Due to his goals, he became top-scorer of his team and for this he took second position after S.Arzamastsev (Torpedo Stalingrad). One of the scored 21 goals was much more important. On September 16th, 1951, Alakbar Mammadov scored the first goal in the official opening ceremony of stadium named after I.V.Stalin (current Tofig Bahramov). However Neftyanik could not go the championship and due to this the team faced with
anger of management and this is why it was almost released. Five footballers as well as A.Mammadov stayed in the team. Neftyanik was formed almost from zero. An interesting fact is that 22 year old A.Mammadov was proposed to become the playing coach. A famous forward explaining his memories as following: "I did all preparations of Neftyanik at home. The key reason was due to much of organization work. My apartment located in S.Vurghun street, num. 8, was like headquarter of Neftyanik”.

However soon the directors understood that it was a wrong decision to appoint a young footballer at such a responsible position and once again invited Shirali Shiraliyev to the position of head coach. Although playing for B class, a number of clubs were willing to get A.Mammadov to their squads. At that period it was both difficult to move from one club to another, and people did not like it. But in 1953, despite the end of the football season, Alakbar left to Moscow. Spartak Moscow became first which involved Mammadov to the squad. But later after that Dinamo’s directors acted quickly and got him to their team. With his brilliant performance, Mammadov managed to make the world know about him. On September 4th, 1955, he scored four goals to Milan and became the first and still the only Azerbaijani who did it.

Despite a successful move to Moscow’s club, in 1956, he was obliged to return to Baku because of a moral impact. The reason was head coach of USSR national team Gavriil Kachalin. In the last moment Kachalin had deleted Mammadov’s name from the list of squad, which was leaving to Melbourne and with this he deprived Alakbar from an Olympic gold medal. The intervention of Dinamo’s high officials prevented him to return to Baku. However as the result of reform, when Neftyanik was back to first league, Mammadov went back to his native city again. But not alone, together with Y.Kuznetsov and A.Golodets to help the team. In 1960 was significant for Mammadov too. Thus, Alakbar Mammadov was awarded with title of "Honored Master of Sports” of USSR for successful participation in a qualification round Europe championship as well as contributing to the football development of Soviet Union. But when he returned to Baku, he was already quite old. Numerous injuries as well as his stomach disease did not allow him to recover his previous fit. Considering all this, the striker decided to finish his football career in 1961. On July 25 of the same year, he appeared in the second half of the game against Donetsk Shakhtar and played his last game.

Later after short teaching activity, in 1963, Mammadov returned to his native team as the head coach and in the first season he managed to carry Neftyanik to the 8th position in the first league. It was the best result of Baku’s representative in the first league. Then, club’s directors started demanding much better results from him. Therefore, A.Mammadov’s relations with club’s directors became bad. He was always straight with people, Mammadov did not like adulation and it was not to the like of directors. In the beginning of 1965, they wanted to expel him from the team. But intervention of players and
rebel prevents them to realise their wish. Despite all of this, finally in the mid-season the directors managed to reach their goal. When the team was preparing for a match against Spartak Moscow, Mammadov was request to stay in Baku due to some organizational work. When the team arrived in Moscow, V.Sokolov was presented to the team as a new head coach. And in Baku they expelled Mamamdov from his position.

A.Mammadov’s second incursion in Neftchi was in 1971. Then Neftchi was losing his glory and time by time discipline in the team was getting worse and worse. Despite all of this,
head caoch managed to consolidate the team and finish the season on 9th position. Despite of tough period during the next season, Mammadov worked hard to prepare the team. And the ages of key players of team’s were on critical level. Many of them were going to finish their career. And there were almost few young players, who would replace them. The directors did not want to accept critics of the head coach. Therefore, Alakbar retired from his position in May of 1972. He left the team forever. After this Mammadov started working as a teacher and coach. For his success at this activity, in 1989 he was awarded with title of "USSR honored coach of Azerbaijan”. And a year later he was awarded with "USSR’s honored coach”.

He is the only person in Azerbaijan who carries titles of "Honored Master of Sports” and "Honored Coach”. After regaining independence he did not leave football and in 1993, Mammadov became the head coach of "A” national team of Azerbaijan.

In 1995, he was awarded with the "Order of Glory”. A.Mammadov is the first person, who was awarded with this order during independence history of our country.

In 2008, he was elected as a member of AFFA Executive Committee.

Alakbar Mammadov passed away at the age of 84, on July 28, 2014. Mammadov was buried in 2nd
Alley of Honor.



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