Azerbaijani football is in mourning after the death at the age of 74 of one of the country's most prominent figures, former Neftçi and Dinamo Moskva midfielder Valeriy Gadzhiev.
He was the key man in the Neftçi squad in 1966, when the Baku club finished third in the USSR top flight – the best position achieved by a team from Azerbaijan in the Soviet era. Gadzhiev also left an impressive mark with Dinamo and the USSR Under-23 team. Later, he coached Azerbaijan's U21 side and was a member of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) board.
He was an assistant to Kazbek Tuaev, his team-mate at Neftçi in 1966, when Azerbaijan celebrated one of the most famous victories in their history by beating Switzerland 1-0 in the qualifying competition for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
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