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Andrei Karyaka
Personal information
Full name Andrei Konstantinovich Karyaka
Date of birth April 1, 1978 (1978-04-01) (age 31)
Place of birth    Dnipropetrovsk, USSR
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Left midfielder
Club information
Current club FC Saturn Moscow Oblast
Number 21
Youth career
Dnipropetrovsk Youth Sports School
Dnipropetrovsk Olympic Reserve School
Metallurh Zaporizhzhya Youth
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya
Krylia Sovetov Samara
SL Benfica
FC Saturn Moscow Oblast
049 0(8)
035 0(4)
130 (49)
012 0(3)
083 (16)   
National team2
2001-2005 Russia 027 0(6)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 21:50, 15 March 2010 (UTC).
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of September 16, 2007.
* Appearances (Goals)

Andrei Karyaka (Russian: Андрей Константинович Каряка) (born April 1, 1978) is a Ukrainian-born Russian football player who currently plays for FC Saturn Moscow Oblast on loan from SL Benfica because he is poorly used at the club. He has previously played for FC Metalurh Zaporizhya and FC CSKA Kyiv in Ukraine, for FC Krylia Sovetov Samara in Russia and SL Benfica in Portugal and was a Russian national football team regular. He is one of best Russian midfielders in recent years. He is a winger/attacking midfielder who is known for his dribbling, passing and goalscoring ability.



Growing up in Dnipropetrovsk in the 1980s, Karyaka was deeply influenced and inspired by the performances of the local club - FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. After multiple championships and two quarter-final finishes in European competition, it is not surprising that his major heroes were the Dnipro leaders, such as Gennadiy Litovchenko and Oleg Protasov. Karyaka attended the Dnipropetrovsk Sports Youth School, coached by W. M. Nikulin, starting at the age of 7, and the Dnipropetrovsk Olympic Reserve School starting at the age of 12. In 1985 he moved to Zaporizhzhia where he initially played for the FC Metalurh Zaporizhya youth team.

FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya

Karyaka's debut for the main team occurred on March 3, 1996, in the 1/16th round of the Ukrainian Cup against the FC Shakhtar Donetsk reserve team, and ended in a 1-0 victory for Metalurh, while Karyaka earned a yellow card. His Ukrainian Premier League debut occurred on March 26, 1996 against his original home team FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, and ended with a 2-1 Metalurh victory. He scored his first goal on November 13, 1996 in the Ukrainian Cup, and on April 10, 1997 in the Ukrainian Premier League. Other memorable games include a tie against Dynamo Kiev in blistering heat on June 30, 1997.


In 1998, Karyaka transferred to FC CSKA Kyiv, trained by the ex-Dynamo Kiev midfielder Vladimir Bessonov. With CSKA, he was able to participate in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, first playing against Cork City F.C., and consequently, against FC Lokomotiv Moscow. Yet in the next season, things did not work out as well, and he spent the majority of the 99/00 season playing for the reserve team.

FC Krylia Sovetov Samara

In the summer of 2000, Karyaka was able to impress the at-the-time FC Krylia Sovetov Samara coach Aleksandr Tarkhanov during a trial match against Lada with his approach and style. He debuted for Samara against FC Anzhi Makhachkala on August 13, 2000, earning a penalty and rescuing a tie. He spent 5 games on the pitch in the 2000 season. After a thorough preparation for the 2001 season, he secured a regular spot as a left midfielder on the main team. In 2002, Karyaka became the top scorer of Samara with 12 goals in 28 games, and on August 19, 2003 he became the top scorer of the team overall in the history of the Russian Premier League with 29 goals. That season he scored 10 goals total in 29 games, but his real success at Samara would come in 2004, where he tallied 22 goals in 37 games. 17 of these came in the Russian Premier League and he missed the best scorer title by only one goal. It should be noted that a number of his goals came from free kicks from 30 yards out and more.

SL Benfica


2005/2006 Season

In 2005 FC Krylia Sovetov Samara encountered financial difficulties and saw this as a fitting moment to have Karyaka move on to a bigger club along with rescuing money to help the budget. As a result, he moved to SL Benfica for a comparatively small fee of 2 Million Euros. After excelling in the pre-season, Karyaka initially appeared somewhat regularly on the pitch, but as the season progressed these appearances became more and more rare. Some have attributed this to Ronald Koeman's desire to get the non-EU players to obtain the required number of games to obtain Portuguese passports.

Controversial Press Statement

In January 2006, the Russian sports-newspaper Sovetskiy Sport published an interview with Karyaka in which he called Portugal backward and uncomfortable, and complained about his role for SL Benfica. As a consequence of this publication, he was suspended from the team for an extended period of time. However, the interview turned out to be fabricated and in July 2006 Karyaka won a lawsuit against the publication.

2006/2007 Season

Although many expected Karyaka to leave SL Benfica as a result of not getting enough playing time, he stayed, and has been used actively in the pre-season training and matchups. Nevertheless, he did not receive any game-time until 21 October 2006, when he was finally substituted in the 69th minute, and scored his first goal of the season 20 minutes later. During the winter 2007, he went back to Russia to play for FC Saturn Moscow Oblast.

National team

Although born in Ukraine, and called up for various of their youth national teams, Karyaka never came on pitch for a single national team game. He received a call up to the Ukraine national football team on May 24, 2001, but the Russian and Uzbek national teams were interested in him as well. On May 29, he made the decision to play for the Russian team, and consequently received his first call-up on August 7 of the same year, playing his first game on August 16 against Greece. Since then, Karyaka has been one of the vital players for the Russian midfield, starting 27 games and scoring 6 goals. He was part of the 2004 European Football Championship and played all 3 games for 140 minutes.

External links


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