Valeriy Lobanovskyi is number 23 in 90min's Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next five weeks.

The life and career of one Valeriy Lobanovskyi is a story that contains an odd combination of philosophy, history, science and sport.

No, this isn't just an article revising your least favourite GCSE subjects at school, it's a tale of how a man who was right in the midst of the repressive Soviet regime, and managed to adapt to ultimately prove he had one of the great minds in football history.

If you want to truly understand Lobanovskyi's style and the way he wanted his teams to play, a good place to start would be the ideas of the father of communism, Karl Marx.

​​Marx introduced the idea of collectivism rather than individualism, an ideology that the USSR would live by throughout the 20th century, until the collapse of the iron curtain in 1991.

His side's were drilled and coached to the point where their performances, particularly in attack, were like clockwork, as was the Soviet way.

Having grown up in the era of infamous Soviet science development, he worked in heating engineering in Kiev before turning his hand to football, where he came prepared to not only leave his mark on the game, but essentially change it forever.

An excessive disciplinarian, he got his message across to his players that no one was greater than the team, as well as becoming a pioneer in the way that professional footballers would diet, which kept his teams at peak physical fitness.

Lobanovskyi was as thorough and hard-working a manager as you are ever likely to see, a man who would leave nothing to chance, all for one collective goal. To win; and not just to win - to dominate.

But did all that work?

Well, 33 trophies in a 32 year managerial career (second only to Sir Alex Ferguson) would suggest...yes, yes it worked fairly well.

Career Honours
Soviet Top League (1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990)
Ukrainian National League (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)
Soviet Cup (1974, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1990)
Ukrainian Cup (1998, 1999, 2000)
UEFA Cup Winners Cup (1975, 1986)
UEFA Super Cup (1975)
USSR Super Cup (1980, 1985, 1986)
Commonwealth of Independent States Cup (1997, 1998, 2002)
Soviet First League (1971)
Gulf Cup of Nations (1996)
UEFA European Championships Runners-up (1988)
Olympic Bronze Medal (1976)
European Coach of the Year (1986, 1988, 1999)
ESPN 8th greatest manager of all time (2013)

He lived up to the stereotype of the big, scary, cold Eastern European who would stop at nothing to conquer all in front of him, but that would be a great disservice to his character.

As a player for his hometown club of Dynamo Kiev, he was a tricky winger with lots of pace and tricks who was an individual that took the game by the scruff of the neck when he was needed, a far-cry from the manager he would eventually become.

At 22, he helped Dynamo win their first league title, but he remained distant from the celebrations, choosing instead to concentrate on what was next for his career, something which irked his manager, the great Viktor Maslov, who was one of the great innovators of pressing football.

The two never saw to eye to eye, with both taking a polar opposite view of the game, but the apprentice would go on to not only eclipse the master, but take many of his view points as his own in his managerial career years later, which really took off at Dynamo in 1973, where he stayed for nine years before taking up the first of his three stints as USSR manager.

He collaborated with Anatoliy Zelentsov, a statistician who worked relentlessly to cover every area of weakness that their team may face, and it was a partnership that ended up becoming crucial in European football.

As quoted by Tifo Football, Simon Kuper wrote in his 1994 book Football Against the Enemy: "Zelentsov worked from the premise that since a fraction of a second’s thought can be too long in modern football; a player had to know where to pass before he got the ball.

“To this end, Dynamo’s players had to memorise set plays, as if they were American footballers, and had to run off the ball in set patterns.”

During their 17 years over three spells at the club, the duo won 12 league titles, six Soviet Cups and a UEFA Super Cup.

However, the rest of the continent truly took notice of that great Dynamo side when they destroyed Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the 1986 Cup Winners' Cup final, a performance which showed off breathtaking discipline, hard work and a total understanding from each player about their role.

The second goal in particular would be exhibit A in a museum regarding Lobanovskyi's style; a sweeping counter-attack with each touch timed to perfection, and though they may never have won the European Cup, his clear ability as a coach led to his national team appointment.

Teams ManagedYears
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk1969-73
Dynamo Kiev1973-82, 1984-90 & 1997-2002
Soviet Union1975-76, 1982-83 & 1986-90
Ukraine1979 & 2000-01

International football is obviously a different level when it comes to preparations, and with less time to work with his players, it became difficult for Lobanovskyi to implement his style.

They lost the 1988 European Championship final to the Netherlands, thanks to THAT Marco Van Basten volley, but that was as good as it got, having never come close to winning a World Cup.

His legacy in Eastern European football is arguably unmatched, and following his death in 2002 aged just 63, an outpouring of emotion and tributes flooded in from around the world.

Two days after his death, UEFA held a minutes silence before the Champions League final in Glasgow, and Lobanovskyi was awarded the title 'Hero of Ukraine', the nation's highest accolade, with Dynamo Kiev's stadium being renamed in his honour.

To show the respect he commanded in his home country, following AC Milan's Champions League victory in 2003, the great Andriy Shevchenko visited his grave to lay down his winner's medal.

That gesture sums up the football world's opinion of Lobanovskyi. He was an extraordinary man who had a nearly unmatched career, and his importance in the way he shaped modern football should never be overlooked.

Number 50: Marcelo Bielsa - El Loco's Journey From Argentina to Footballing Immortality in Europe

Number 49: Vic Buckingham - How an Englishman Discovered Johan Cruyff & Pioneered Total Football

Number 48: Claudio Ranieri: A Ridiculed Tinkerman Who Masterminded One of Football's Greatest Ever Achievements

Number 47: Bill Nicholson: Mr Tottenham Hotspur, the First Double Winning Manager of the 20th Century

Number 46: Sven-Goran Eriksson: The Scudetto Winning Shagger Who Never Solved the Lampard-Gerrard Conundrum

Number 45: Sir Alf Ramsey: The Man Behind the 'Wingless Wonders' & England's Sole World Cup Triumph

Number 44: Antonio Conte: An Astute Tactician Whose Perfectionist Philosophy Reinvented the 3-5-2 Wheel

Number 43: Kenny Dalglish: The Beacon of Light in Liverpool's Darkest Hour

Number 42: Massimiliano Allegri: The Masterful Tactician Who Won Serie A Five Times in a Row

Number 41: Sir Bobby Robson: A Footballing Colossus Whose Fighting Spirit Ensured an Immortal Legacy

Number 40: Luis Aragones: Spain's Most Important Manager, the Atleti Rock and the Modern Father of Tiki-Taka

Number 39: Herbert Chapman: One of Football's Great Innovators & Mastermind Behind the 'W-M' Formation

Number 38: Carlos Alberto Parreira: The International Specialist Who Never Shied Away From a Challenge

Number 37: Franz Beckenbauer: The German Giant Whose Playing Career Overshadowed His Managerial Genius

Number 36: Viktor Maslov: Soviet Pioneer of the 4-4-2 & the Innovator of Pressing

Number 35: Rafa Benitez: The Conquerer of La Liga Who Masterminded That Comeback in Istanbul

Number 34: Zinedine Zidane: Cataloguing the Frenchman's Transition From Midfield Magician to Managerial Maestro

Number 33: Luiz Felipe Scolari: How the Enigmatic 'Big Phil' Succeeded as Much as He Failed on the Big Stage

Number 32: Jupp Heynckes: The Legendary Manager Who Masterminded 'the Greatest Bayern Side Ever'

Number 31: Vicente del Bosque: The Unluckiest Manager in the World Who Led Spain to Immortality

Number 30: Arsene Wenger: A Pioneering Who Became Invincible at Arsenal

Number 29: Udo Lattek: The Bundesliga Icon Who Shattered European Records

Number 28: Jock Stein: The Man Who Guided Celtic to Historic Heights & Mentored Sir Alex Ferguson

Number 27: Vittorio Pozzo: Metodo, Mussolini, Meazza & the Difficult Memory of a Two-Time World Cup Winner

Number 26: Jurgen Klopp: The Early Years at Mainz 05 Where He Sealed His 'Greatest Achievement'

Number 25:Mario Zagallo: Habitual World Cup Winner & Sculptor of Brazil's Joga Bonito Era

Number 24: ​Bela Guttmann: The Dance Instructor Who Changed Football Forever (and Managed...Just Everyone)