Khoren hovhannisyan

Khoren Oganesian
Personal information
Full nameKhoren Grigori Oganesian
Date of birth (1955-01-10) 10 January 1955 (age 59)
Place of birthYerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Armenia)
Height1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing positionMidfielder
Senior career*
1974–1985Ararat Yerevan295(93)
1986–1988Arabkir Yerevan13(4)
1989–1991Pakhtakor Tashkent46(9)
1992–1993Kilikia Yerevan33(22)
1995–1996Pyunik Yerevan4(0)
National team
Teams managed
1991Tavriya Simferopol
1993–1995Homenetmen Beirut
1995–1998Kilikia Yerevan
1996–1997Armenia national team
2000–2006Pyunik Yerevan
2012–Lokomotiv Tashkent
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Khoren Oganesian (Armenian: Խորեն Հովհաննիսյան, born 10 January 1955), also known as Khoren Hovhannisyan, is a former Armenian and Soviet football player who played midfielder and current manager and coach. He was awarded the Master of Sport of the USSR, International Class title in 1976.

Hovhannisyan was a member of the USSR national football team and mostly played at the club level for Soviet Top League and Armenian Premier League club Ararat Yerevan. He is widely considered a legend of Ararat and Armenian football in general. In official games of the USSR championships, Hovhannisyan had 295 matches and scored 93 goals for Ararat. His number of scored goals is a record of the USSR in Armenian football. In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was selected as the Golden Player of Armenia by the Football Federation of Armenia as the most outstanding player of the past 50 years.[1]

In a survey taken in 2005 by the Football Federation of Armenia, Hovhannisyan was chosen as the best player of Armenia in 20th century. On May 28, 2010, on the occasion of the Armenian Republic Day, a number of prominent figures of different areas were honored. For his contribution to the Fatherland Order of the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, the law on State Awards, the highest award of the country, were given to Hovhannisyan, who was awarded the Khorenatsi medal.[2]

Early life

Khoren Hovhannisyan was born on 10 January 1955 in Yerevan, Armenian SSR in a family of sportsmen. His father was a weightlifter, and later an honored coach of the Armenian SSR. His mother specialized in gymnastics. Khoren's older brother played football and his younger brother became a weightlifter and later received the Master of Sport of the USSR title.

Club career

Hovhannisyan grew up playing football in a nearby yard with his older brother. In 1969, he joined the team of Ani Yerevan and won the All-Union neighborhood teams tournament Leather Ball and scored one of the goals in the final meeting. Hovhannisyan later engaged in a sports school, after which he entered the Armenian State University of Economics, specializing in state planning. At this time, he was invited to try out for the youth football teams in Armenia, where he was noticed by head coach of the Soviet Union national under-21 football team, Yevgeny Lyadin. Lyadin wrote a letter of recommendation to the leadership of the local club Ararat Yerevan, where Hovhannisyan was taken into in 1973. He played as a second for 2 years.[3]

His debut match in Ararat took place on 19 March 1975 in the quarterfinals of the 1974–75 European Cup against Bayern Munich. The match ended in a 1-0 victory for Ararat Yerevan. He debuted in the Soviet Top League national championship a month later on 16 April in Yerevan. In a match of Ararat Yerevan vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Hovhannisyan came in at the 75th minute of the match, replacing Sergei Bondarenko. The match ended in 3-0 victory.[3]

Hovhannisyan was scoring a lot from the first matches of the Top League. He had the ability to hit accurately with his left leg, was a skilled organizer and had precise percussive attacks. Ararat Yerevan won the Soviet Cup in 1975. In the following year, the club made it to the finals of the 1976 Soviet Top League in the spring, where Ararat Yerevan narrowly lost to Dynamo Moscow. At the end of 1975, Hovhannisyan was in the national list of award winners as the best newcomer of the Top League season, chosen and awarded by the All-Union popular Soviet sport magazine Smena.[3]

In February 1984, Hovhannisyan scored his one hundredth goal, which made him a member of the Grigory Fedotov club. The goals he scored had a rare beauty: he scored with his heel in a match against CSKA Moscow in 1983 in Moscow and scored the ball flying through the goal net in a match against Neftchi in 1981, in Yerevan.

Hovhannisyan became the captain of Ararat Yerevan in the early 1980s.

In 1985, due to disagreements with the management of Ararat, he left the club. Hovhannisyan almost didn't play for almost 2 years because he was unofficially disqualified for alleged match-fixing, though this was never proven.[4]

In 1987 he agreed to play for the factory team Arabkir Yerevan, with which became a champion of the republic. In 1988, it appeared already in the Soviet First League.[3]

He took part in the farewell match of Oleg Blokhin, the all-time Soviet top goalscorer, in 1989.

In December 1989, he received an offer from the head coach of Pakhtakor Tashkent, Fyodor Novikov. He helped the Uzbek football club get to the big leagues. In 1991, in a match against Dynamo Kyiv, Hovhannisyan tore his Achilles tendon and was out for the season. He left Pakhtakor that year and began to take up managing. He did not retire as a player, however.[3]

The following year, Hovhannisyan returned to his homeland and joined Armenian club Kilikia Yerevan. While he played for Kilikia, the club won the first ever Armenian Premier League in 1992. Hovhannisyan transferred to Pyunik Yerevan in 1995. While he played for the club, Pyunik won the Armenian Premier League in 1995–96 and won the Armenian Cup in 1996. Hovhannisyan retired as a player after the 1996 season.[3]

At the end of his club career, Hovhannisyan played a total of 391 matches and scored a total of 122 goals. He played 305 matches and scored 93 goals in the Soviet Top League seasons. He was listed on the 33 best players of the season five times, thrice as the best. Hovhannisyan won 38 international caps for the USSR.[3]

Football Federation of Armenia President Ruben Hayrapetyan said of Hovhannisyan, "There has been a lot of talent in our football, but I saw Hovhannisyan on the pitch and this led to me becoming a football fan. His contribution to the past, present and future of Armenian football could not be overstated."[3]

International career

In 1975, Hovhannisyan joined the Soviet Union national under-21 football team, coached by Valentin Nikolayev. He was a part of the Soviet youth team when it won the UEFA Euro 1976 U-21.[3]

Hovhannisyan's skill went noticed by the coaches of the Soviet Union national football team, which he started playing for in 1979, when the team was managed by Konstantin Beskov. The following year, as part of the Soviet Union Olympic football team, the USSR squad won bronze at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Hovhannisyan scored twice at the Olympics. His first goal was in a dominant 4-0 victory over Venezuela in the group stage. The Soviet team advanced to the semifinals, where they were defeated 0-1 by East Germany. Hovhannisyan did not play because of a concussion received in the quarterfinals. In the following bronze medal match against Yugoslavia, Hovhannisyan came off the bench and scored his second goal and the winning goal at the 67th minute. Sergey Andreyev also scored a goal, leaving the final score 2-0 for the Soviet Union.[3]

The Soviet national team participated in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Hovhannisyan became the first Armenian player to take part in the World Cup. Hovhannisyan scored one brilliant goal in the second group stage against Belgium. The goal proved to be decisive, as the final score was 1-0. Though the USSR tied with Poland 0-0, the Polish team advanced to the knockout stage instead due to total goal difference. Hovhannisyan concluded playing for the national team of the country in 1984. In his five years on the team, he played 34 matches and scored 6 goals, most of which proved decisive.[3]

Managerial career

While still a player, in 1991 Hovhannisyan managed to get a coach position on Tavriya Simferopol. The head coach at the time was Anatoliy Zayaev, but the whole training process was taken care of by Hovhannisyan.[3][5]

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Hovhannisyan moved back to Armenia. Here, along with some of his friends who also participated in football, he decided to found a club. This club was named ADCC, meaning (literal English translation) Armenian General Athletic Union. In Armenian, the club name was abbreviated HMNM, or Homenetmen. Hovhannisyan, already a veteran of football, continued his playing career. In the newly formed club's first season, it became the 1992 Armenian Premier League champion, which was the first ever Armenian Premier League, and the finalist of the 1992 Armenian Cup, also the first of its kind.[5]

Later he moved to Lebanon, where he coached the capital Armenian-Lebanese club Homenetmen Beirut. In his first year with the team, they took 5th place in the Lebanese Second Division. In the second year, they took third.[3][5]

After a short absence, he returned to Armenia, where he led the home team of his birthplace. During a time Hovhannisyan briefly left to coach the Armenia national football team, the club had at that time changed its name from Kilikia Yerevan to Pyunik Yerevan. The following season, Hovhannisyan returned to the Yerevan club. Hovhannisyan, at this time, was a player-coach for the club. With the second return of Hovhannisyan also came some important highlights in the history of the club. During his first season, there had been issued due to an injury of his. In the second season, the team won the 1996–97 Armenian Premier League. The club won the 1996 Armenian Cup that same season for the first time. Hovhannisyan also led the squad to victory in the Armenian Supercup in 1996 and 1998. In August 1998, Hovhannisyan left the club and was replaced by David Ghazaryan.[3][5]

In mid-December 2011, Hovhannisyan started coaching Lokomotiv Tashkent, which played in the last season in the Uzbek League.[3][5][6]

Personal life

Hovhannisyan is married to his wife Julietta.[7] Khoren has a son, Zhora Hovhannisyan, who is also a football player. Zhora played for Pyunik Yerevan and Pakhtakor Tashkent, both of which his father also played for. Khoren was managing the clubs Pyunik Yerevan and Lokomotiv Tashkent while Zhora was playing for them.[8]

Career statistics

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 15 October 1980 USSR  Iceland 5–0 Win 1982 WC Qual.
3. 4 December 1980 Argentina  Argentina 1–1 Draw Friendly
4. 14 April 1982 Argentina  Argentina 1–1 Draw Friendly
5. 1 July 1982 Spain  Belgium 1–0 Win 1982 World Cup
6. 26 July 1983 East Germany  East Germany 3–1 Win Friendly




Armenia Ararat Yerevan

Armenia Kilikia Yerevan


Armenia Kilikia Yerevan


Soviet Union


  • Best 33 players of the Soviet Top League season: № 1 - 1980, 1982, 1983; № 2 - 1979; № 3 - 1981
  • Best newcomer of the Soviet Top League season: 1975
  • Most beautiful goal of the season: 1982


External links

  • Khoren Oganesian at
  • Interview
  • Profile (Russian)
  • Profile (Russian)
  • Khoren Georgievich Oganesyan – International Appearances
  • (Armenian)
  • (Russian)
  • Hovhannisyan playing in Soviet Union vs. Brazil match, 1980
  • Hovhannisyan playing in Soviet Union vs. England match, 1984
  • Hovhannisyan playing in Soviet Union vs. Yugoslavia match, 1980 Olympics Bronze Medal Match

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