Champion of paper likes

The story behind the photo
25 May
Lev Yashin reviews letters from fans. © V. Shadrin / TASS

How many Instagram subscribers could Lev Yashin have? Probably dozens of millions. But in those days the world was just entering the electronic age.

Before the Internet and social networks, communication between the fans and the idols took place in real world. The stars were eagerly waited after matches, saw off home, observed in commuter trains, when the team went to the game from the base.

Of course, there was also a sort of "virtual" communication. At the time the popularity of the player was measured not by the number of subscribers, likes and reposts, but by bags of letters and postcards that were delivered to the house.

The legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin was one of the most popular addressees. Letters to the best goalkeeper in the history of football came from all over the Soviet Union, and he patiently tried to answer every one of them.

In the photo of 1971 Yashin sorts out the regular shipment: almost every fan of the country considered it necessary to express their gratitude and wishes for further success after the end of his career.