Stefanos Tsitsipas speaks fluent Russian! This became known from the address he wrote on Twitter to veteran football players, which took place on Wednesday 22/09/21 in Russia and bears the name of Sergei Salnikov, the grandfather of the Greek tennis player.
Salnikov, the father of Stefanos’ mother Yulia, was a great footballer of the 1940s and 1950s. He played for the Moscow teams Dynamo and Spartak, and with the Soviet Union Olympic team, he won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. He is a legend of the Russians and a teammate of Lev Yasin.
“Today in Sokolniki a football match of veterans is being held in honor of my grandfather,” Stefanos Tsitsipas also wrote. Fluent in Russian, he wrote down the appeal on Twitter.
Dedicated to all the footballers who died on the field … pic.twitter.com/QWDolKCkan
– Stefanos Tsitsipas (@steftsitsipas) September 22, 2021
The first official match for the USSR national team was played on September 8, 1954 against Sweden, in which the USSR national team won with a score of 7: 0. Two goals were scored by Salnikov.
As part of the national team, he became the Olympic champion of the 1956 Games in Melbourne.
He was a participant in the 1958 World Cup. On June 19, 1958, he also played there the last official match for the national team against Sweden, in which the Soviet national team lost with a score of 0: 2.
In total, he played 14 matches for the national team and scored 9 goals.
He played 6 matches for the Olympic team and scored 2 goals. He also played in the main USSR national team in 10 unofficial matches and scored 2 goals.
Winner of the 1956 Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR as part of the Moscow team.
Olympic champion in 1956. Champion of the USSR (3): 1954, 1956, 1958. Winner of the USSR Cup (5): 1944, 1946, 1947, 1953, 1958. In the lists of the best footballers of the season in the USSR (9): No. 1 – 4 times (1949, 1953, 1955 and 1956), No. 2 – 1948 and 1951, No. 3 – 1950, 1957 and 1958. Member of Grigory Fedotov’s club. He was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor (1957).
He was married twice. First wife Nina was an athlete. From marriage with her, two twin daughters were born – Nina and Alexandra. From his second wife Valentina, there are again two twin daughters and a son, Sergei. The daughter from her second marriage, Julia (08/13/1964) was the USSR tennis champion. Later she moved to Greece, has four children. Julia’s eldest son, Stefanos Tsitsipas, is a professional tennis player, at the age of 17 he headed the senior world junior ranking. Daughter Alla lives in Japan, is married to a microbiologist, daughter of Aika.
He died at the age of 58 (May 9, 1984) from a heart attack immediately after the match.