Russian football champion who played in Ukraine died of alcoholism
Former Russian striker Yuri Petrov died on April 29 in a hospice in the Netherlands, twenteinsite.nl reports. The native of Kryvyi Rih, who won the 1992 Russian football championship with Spartak Moscow, was 48 years old.
At the age of sixteen, Petrov signed his first professional contract with Ukrainian club Dnipro. He managed to play in 14 matches for the Dnipro club, after which he set off to conquer Moscow. He played only 5 matches for Spartak, but managed to win the gold medal in the Russian championship.
In 1994, the Russian entered the sphere of Ajax's transfer interests. Coach Louis van Gaal had to make a choice between him and Finidy George, and in the end he opted for the latter. Therefore, Petrov did not go to Ajax, but joined Twente in 1995 at the age of 21 for a record-breaking fee.
The promising striker signed a three-year contract but did not play for three seasons. Between 1994 and 1995, he managed to take part in 74 games and score 15 goals, after which he was expelled for drinking, nicknamed 'Vodka Yuri'.
His problems with alcohol continued until the end of his life. In 2011, his wife left him, taking their two children. The house was sold, and the proceeds were divided equally. Petrov received 40,000 euros, which was enough for him for a month.
In 2012, Yuri ended up in a social shelter in Tilburg. He was taken in by a local employee, Monika, who is 10 years his senior. Thanks to her, the ex-footballer got a job, but after 9 months, the woman sued him for assault. The former football star was sentenced to community service.
Later, they got back together and lived in a civil marriage in a campsite, but in 2016 they finally broke up. In an interview with journalists, Monika complained that Yuri was drinking: "Drinking ruined everything."
Yuri admitted that he had been using drugs since his divorce. As of June 2017, Petrov was unemployed and homeless.
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