Former soccer player Yuri Petrov died at age 48
Former soccer player Yuri Petrov has died. The striker, who played in the premier league for RKC Waalwijk and FC Twente, was only 48 years old.
Petrov was a left winger who, despite his great talent, never made it beyond the Dutch sub-top. The Ukrainian-born Petrov did still appear in action for various youth selections of Russia.
Initially, Petrov was on Louis van Gaal’s radar, but he eventually chose Finidi George as the new winger.
Tipped by Van Gaal
While Ajax began its European triumph with George, Petrov played himself into the spotlight via RKC. After a tip-off by Van Gaal to Bert Jacobs, the Russian had ended up in the Dutch league after all.
FC Twente put no less than 1.3 million guilders on the table for Petrov in the summer of 1995, making him the most expensive purchase ever made by the Tukkers at the time.
At the club from Enschede, he was eventually thrown out on the street because of his excessive drinking during a training camp. “For us literally and figuratively the straw that broke the camel’s back,” explained then chairman Cees Anker.
After a long career that took him past numerous clubs (including ADO Den Haag and FC Volendam in the first division), it came to light that Petrov was struggling with a major drinking problem. He remained a resident of the Netherlands, where he breathed his last in a hospice on Saturday.