“I thought you were informal!”: a famous Russian football player remembered how a bandit almost killed him because of his hairstyle

The for­mer goal­keep­er of Loko­mo­tiv and Ros­tov always loved long hair, but once almost suf­fered because of it in a show­down.

For­mer foot­ball play­er Ilya Abaev did not become a big star, although he played for many RPL clubs. His per­for­mances for Loko­mo­tiv, Ros­tov and Anzhi were espe­cial­ly mem­o­rable.

Abaev played most of his career with long hair, which fans remem­ber. Now the goal­keep­er has admit­ted that in his youth he was almost beat­en by a ban­dit near Moscow because of them.

Why did they want to beat Abaev because of his hairstyle?

Abaev said in a new inter­view with Sport24 that the con­flict occurred when he was play­ing for Tor­pe­do Moscow. The goal­keep­er has been with the club since his youth: first he played for the sec­ond team, and then for the first team (togeth­er from 1999 to 2008).

Young Abaev in “Torpedo”

Dur­ing this peri­od, an unpleas­ant inci­dent hap­pened to Abaev. He went with friends to relax in a bar, where he encoun­tered aggres­sion because of his hair­style:

“One day my friends and I decid­ed to go to a bar. We stood with one guy at the bar, talk­ing. And sud­den­ly some drunk­en, huge man wedges between us. He glanced at me, turned and hit me.

As it turned out lat­er, it was because I had long hair. They grap­pled with him and chairs, glass­es, and dish­es flew. As a result, the guys and I neu­tral­ized him and called the police. It turned out that this was some kind of “Ramen­sky” ban­dit.”

In “Torpedo” Abaev wore long hair

How did the conflict end?

Abaev notes: the police arrived, but refused to help him. They didn’t even detain the attack­er, so Abaev asked to take him away to ensure safe­ty, because the ban­dit threat­ened to kill him.

“I say: “Then at least take me away. He promis­es to kill me as soon as you leave!” And he real­ly promised. In short, they didn’t take any of us, they got into the car and drove away. And this guy and I some­how got into a con­ver­sa­tion.

He admit­ted: “I thought you were infor­mal. But you did great, you twist­ed me well.” As a result, we went to his house, he took the mon­ey and paid for all the dam­age in this club. He also treat­ed us.”

Abaev wore long hair almost his entire career

Abaev admit­ted that he him­self had no desire to go into crime. He almost nev­er found him­self in con­flict sit­u­a­tions, because he devot­ed all his time to sports.

“To be hon­est, I didn’t have time to do any­thing oth­er than foot­ball. From Mon­day to Fri­day there is school, on week­ends there are games. When Tor­pe­do got into the dou­ble team, the sched­ule was tougher.

Free time became even more dif­fi­cult when I entered the Moscow State Acad­e­my of Phys­i­cal Cul­ture. By the way, I wrote my diplo­ma on the top­ic “Repelling penal­ty kicks,” the foot­baller recalls with a laugh.