Georgi Kinkladze: Wikis

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Georgi Kinkladze
Personal information
Full name Georgi Kinkladze
Date of birth 6 July 1973 (1973-07-06) (age 36)
Place of birth    Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1979–1989 Dinamo Tbilisi
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1989–1991
1991–1995
1993
1994
1995–1998
1998–2000
1999–2000
2000–2003
2004–2005
2005–2006
Mretebi Tbilisi
Dinamo Tbilisi
1. FC Saarbrücken (loan)
Boca Juniors (loan)
Manchester City
Ajax
Derby County (loan)
Derby County
Anorthosis Famagusta
Rubin Kazan
050 0(9)
065 (41)
011 0(0)
003 0(0)
106 (20)
012 0(0)
013 0(1)
080 0(6)
022 0(2)
013 0(2)   
National team
1992–2005 Georgia 055 0(8)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Georgi Kinkladze (born 6 July 1973), also known as Georgiou,[1] Giorgi,[2] Gio or Kinky,[3][4] is a retired Georgian footballer who played as a midfielder. A playmaker, he first came to prominence with his performances for Georgia against Wales in 1994 and 1995. He transferred from his hometown team Dinamo Tbilisi to English Premier League club Manchester City in 1995, where his dribbling ability and spectacular goals made him a cult hero, winning the club's Player of the Year award in two consecutive seasons.

After enduring two relegations with City he joined AFC Ajax in 1998, but did not settle and returned to England with Derby County a little over a year later. He spent four years at Derby, making nearly 100 appearances. After leaving Derby in 2003 he became a journeyman footballer, having unsuccessful trials at several clubs before joining Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta in 2004, where he won a league championship medal. He finished his playing career with Russian club Rubin Kazan in 2006.

Contents

Early life

Georgi Kinkladze was born on 6 July 1973 in Tbilisi, Georgia, part of the former [[Soviet Union] As a child he lived in the Didube district of the city with his father Robinzon (an engineer),[5] his mother Khatuna (a teacher) and his elder sister.[6] Robinzon was keen to see his son succeed as a footballer, sometimes making him walk around the family home on his knees to strengthen his legs, and enrolled him for Dinamo Tbilisi's junior side when he was six years old.[6] Khatuna disapproved of some of her husband's methods, instead taking Georgi to lessons in mtiuluri, a traditional Georgian ballet.[7] Over the next few years Kinkladze played in Dinamo Tbilisi's youth teams, progressing as far as the second team, where he played alongside Shota Arveladze, who would later become his team-mate at both senior and international level.[8]

Tbilisi, where Kinkladze was born and began his career.

Early career

When Georgian football formed leagues independent of Soviet competition in 1989, a family friend arranged a move to Mretebi Tbilisi, the first openly professional club in the Soviet Union.[8] Mretebi were a smaller club playing at a lower level, but the move gave Kinkladze the opportunity to play first team football instead of playing for Dinamo's second team. In his first professional season, aged 16, Kinkladze played 20 games. After a second season at Mretebi he was signed by Dinamo, the team he represented as a youth, for one million roubles.[9] In 1991, Georgia became an independent state again, but independence brought civil war as rival factions fought for control. On 17 September 1992, at the age of 19, he made his senior international debut against Azerbaijan,[10] the Georgian national side's fourth match since breaking from the Soviet Union.[11] As the civil war continued, in 1993 the Dinamo Tbilisi management sought to put their players in a more stable environment. As part of this Kinkladze was sent on loan to 1. FC Saarbrücken in Germany.[12]

Kinkladze made his Saarbrücken debut in a 2. Fußball-Bundesliga match against Tennis Borussia Berlin on 4 March 1994. However, he was unable to settle into the side at Saarbrücken, rarely playing a full 90 minutes, and was sent off in a defeat to Hertha BSC Berlin.[13] At the end of the season he returned to Tbilisi to resume his career in Georgia, where in 1993 he was the national Player of the Year.[14] Dinamo president Merad Jordania was still uncomfortable with Kinkladze playing in Georgia amid political instability, and offered the player to Atletico Madrid for approximately £200,000; they gave him a trial but no contract. He then trained with Real Madrid's reserves, where he caught the eye of Boca Juniors scouts, who took him to Argentina for a month's loan. Kinkladze met his childhood hero Diego Maradona, but did not gain a permanent contract, as coach Silvio Marzolini regarded him as too similar to Boca's Argentine international playmaker Alberto Márcico.[15]

In September 1994, Kinkladze was part of the Georgian team that played Moldova in Tbilisi. Footage of Kinkladze's performance resulted in interest from clubs in Italy, where the press nicknamed Kinkladze the "Rivera of the Black Sea", but no concrete attempts to sign him took place. It was not until Manchester City chairman Francis Lee witnessed the recording that negotiations for a permanent move abroad occurred. Enthused by Kinkladze's display, Lee contacted Jordania, securing an agreement that Manchester City would have first refusal should Dinamo wish to sell the player.[16]

Two months later, Kinkladze scored his first international goal as Georgia thrashed Wales 5–0.[16] At the return match at Cardiff Arms Park, scouts from several clubs saw Kinkladze score the only goal of the game with a 20-yard chip over Neville Southall.[16] In his last season with Dinamo, Kinkladze had scored 14 goals in 20 outings, and clubs from several countries expressed interest in signing him. Jordania kept true to his agreement with Lee, and on 15 July 1995 Kinkladze signed for Manchester City, becoming Alan Ball's first signing for the club, the fee generally reported as £2 million.[17] After initial difficulties obtaining a work permit, Kinkladze played his first match for Manchester City against Spurs on 19 August 1995.[18]

Manchester City

Manchester City's form stuttered during the 1995–96 season, failing to win a single game in the first three months of the season, but Kinkladze quickly became a terrace hero.[19] When the first win, against Aston Villa, finally arrived, it was Kinkladze who scored the winner following a one-two with Niall Quinn. Kinkladze was initially homesick, as he was living in a hotel and spoke little English.[20] In an effort to resolve his homesickness, his mother moved to Manchester to provide him with familiar food.[21] By the time Manchester City travelled to Middlesbrough in December 1995, press and supporters touted Kinkladze as the star player of the Manchester City side. The match against Middlesbrough was billed as a contest between Kinkladze and the Brazilian playmaker Juninho. Kinkladze scored the opening goal with a solo effort, but the match ended 4–1 to Middlesbrough. However, the Middlesbrough fans subsequently voted Kinkladze the "Best Opposing Player of the Season".[22] In March 1996, Kinkladze scored a particularly spectacular goal against Southampton. Kinkladze beat five players before chipping Southampton goalkeeper Dave Beasant.[17] The goal won Match of the Day's "Goal of the Month", and placed second in the programme's "Goal of the Season" competition.[18]

On the final day of the season, Manchester City were relegated to Division One, prompting transfer speculation linking Kinkladze to a number of clubs including Barcelona, Liverpool and Celtic.[17] However, he instead opted to stay at Manchester City, where he had been named Player of the Year for 1995–96.[23] The 1996–97 season proved a turbulent one for Manchester City, and over the course of the season Kinkladze played for five different managers. With Keith Curle no longer at the club, Kinkladze became the main penalty taker,[24] and also scored a number of goals from free-kicks, including a 35-yard effort against Swindon Town described by English newspaper Manchester Evening News as "like a missile".[25] In the First Division Kinkladze frequently had two or even three opposing players assigned to man mark him. Several teams chose to combat Kinkladze's playmaking skill with robust tackles; in one such match against Crystal Palace Kinkladze had to be stretchered off following a challenge by David Hopkin.[26] Manchester City finished the season well below the promotion places, and again there was speculation that Kinkladze would leave the club. At the final match of the season against Reading, Manchester City supporters campaigned to keep Kinkladze at the club, even though he was not playing in the match due to injury.[27] The campaign even extended to the half-time adverts on the scoreboard, the "adverts" being messages from supporter groups who had paid to display them.[23] Kinkladze was named Player of the Year for the second consecutive season,[23] and one month after the season ended he announced his intention to stay at the club by signing a new three-year contract. Kinkladze used the proceeds from his new contract to buy a Ferrari, though the car caused consternation among club officials, whose fears were realised in October 1998 when Kinkladze lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a motorway bridge in Hale. Kinkladze received back injuries requiring 30 stitches, and missed two matches as a result.[28]

Manchester City's freefall continued in 1997–98, and in February 1998 manager Frank Clark was sacked. His replacement, Joe Royle, had a reputation for playing defensive midfielders, which had led to his Everton team being nicknamed the "Dogs of War".[29] Royle viewed Kinkladze as an unaffordable luxury in a relegation battle, and in his first board meeting as Manchester City manager he opened proceedings with the words "We have to sell Kinkladze".[30] After playing the first two games under Royle, Kinkladze sustained an ankle injury which sidelined him for a month. He made his return at a muddy Vale Park on 14 March. Port Vale defeated City 2–1, and Royle severely criticised Kinkladze for a lack of effort, dropping him for the next six games.[31] In 2005, Royle explained his view in his autobiography: "To the supporters he was the only positive in all that time. To me he was a big negative. I am not saying that City's ills were all down to Kinkladze but there was too much about the whole Kinkladze cult phenomenon that wasn't right... ...too often since his arrival the team had under-performed. I couldn't help deducing that contrary to popular opinion he would be my weak link not my strong one."[32] With two games remaining, Manchester City were in the relegation places, and Kinkladze was restored to the starting lineup for the home match against Queens Park Rangers. The QPR team contained hardman Vinnie Jones, who targeted Kinkladze from the outset, even in the tunnel before the start of the match.[33] Kinkladze opened the scoring with a free kick, but calamitous defending, including a freak own goal from Jamie Pollock, meant the match ended in a 2–2 draw.[34] City no longer controlled their own fate, and were relegated for the second time in three seasons despite a final day win against Stoke City.[35] In total Kinkladze made 119 appearances for Manchester City, scoring 22 goals.

Ajax

Following transfer negotiations which had been ongoing in the final months of the season, Kinkladze left Manchester City for Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam for a £5 million transfer fee.[18] However, his spell at Ajax proved unsuccessful. He was originally signed as a replacement for Jari Litmanen, but Litmanen stayed at Ajax as his proposed move to Barcelona fell through. As a result Kinkladze played in an unfamiliar left-wing position.[36] His league debut for Ajax came in a 2–0 win against Willem II on 23 August 1998,[37] but starts were a rare occurrence. To compound matters, coach Morten Olsen was sacked early in the season, and a disagreement with replacement Jan Wouters resulted in Kinkladze losing his place in the team,[38] with Richard Knopper the preferred backup for Litmanen.[39] "I could have been Maradona and he wouldn't have changed the system to accommodate me", Kinkladze recalled later. "I wasn't playing football and that made my life hell."[36] He immediately started to look elsewhere, but several English top-flight clubs which showed interest in signing him were discouraged by work permit issues, as his lack of regular football also resulted in him losing his place in the Georgian national team.[38][40] Having failed to established himself in the first team and struggling with a succession of injuries, he made just 12 appearances for Ajax in his first season.[39]

Kinkladze was not even issued a squad number for his second season,[38] and was made to train with the reserve team.[41] In September 1999, Kinkladze held transfer talks with Sheffield United, but no move materialised.[42] Two months later a return to England was secured in the form of a loan move to Derby County.[43]

Derby County

Pride Park, where Kinkladze played for Derby County between 2000 and 2003.

As Kinkladze was not playing regular international football when he signed for Derby, he was not automatically entitled to a work permit, but a review panel gave him special dispensation due to his previous contribution to English football.[38] His new team-mates, keeping his performances for Manchester City in mind, feared even touching him during his first training session.[44] His Derby debut came as a substitute against Arsenal on 28 November 1999, the first of 14 loan appearances, and he scored his first Derby goal against Wimbledon on 4 March.[45] After the match against Wimbledon, Kinkladze complained about the direct nature of his team's tactics, and so during the half-time he asked the manager to change the tactics to give him more possession and opportunities to create attacking moves.[46] At the end of the season the loan move was made permanent, the transfer fee £3 million,[47] which was a club record until 2007.[48]

Kinkladze missed the start of the 2000–01 season due to a hernia operation,[49] to the disappointment of Derby manager Jim Smith who expected him to become a leading figure at the club.[50] He returned to the side as a substitute against Middlesbrough on 6 September 2000. With Derby 3–0 down, Kinkladze and Malcolm Christie were introduced in a double substitution.[51] The pair then proved influential as Derby came back to draw the match 3–3.[52] Over the next four months Kinkladze was sometimes a starter and sometimes a substitute, rotating with Stefano Eranio, until a groin injury sustained in the return match with Middlesbrough kept Kinkladze out for two months.[49] Over the season Kinkladze "showed little of the brilliance he was bought in to deliver" and was named Derby's biggest disappointment of the season by British newspaper The Guardian.[53] The match against Leeds United in late September was a rare success for him. He came on as a substitute 17 minutes from time and levelled the game with a solo goal two minutes later, jinking between two defenders before curling a left-foot shot beyond a goalkeeper.[54] Derby struggled for most of the season, but avoided relegation. Kinkladze stayed at the club since his injuries and inability to prove himself led to a lack of serious offers.[55] Around this time he married Louise Tai, a Mancunian. Louise then became a member of the Orthodox Church and was christened in Tbilisi, receiving a new name – Mariam.[56] Kinkladze's first child, a son, was born in October 2001. He was named Saba, an ancient Georgian name.[57]

For Kinkladze, the start of the 2001–02 season followed a similar pattern to the previous season, comprising a mixture of starts and substitute appearances. Jim Smith resigned from his managerial position at Derby in October 2001, leaving Kinkladze, a Smith favourite, bitterly disappointed.[58] The appointment of new manager Colin Todd signalled a change in the club's playing style. Todd did not favour flair players, and Kinkladze made only a single substitute appearance in Todd's first two months in charge.[59] Frustrated by a lack of opportunities, Kinkladze took the unusual step of using his lawyer to arrange a meeting with Todd to discuss his exclusion from the first team.[2] Todd reacted by telling Kinkladze he could leave the club if he was unhappy.[58] According to Kinkladze's agent, Manchester City, as well as Spanish clubs Valencia, Mallorca and Málaga, were all interested in signing Kinkladze.[60] However, Todd was sacked in January 2002 with Derby second from bottom of the Premier League,[61] and John Gregory was appointed as manager. Kinkladze stayed at the club, playing regular first team football in the remainder of the season, but Derby continued to struggle, and Kinkladze endured relegation for the third time in his career. The club, who were £35m in debt, started an end-of-season clear-out to reduce their annual £17m wage bill.[62] Derby's actions included off-loading of some of the highest earners, and the manager informed Kinkladze that he had no future at the club.[63] However, Kinkladze, whose contract ended in summer 2003, was reluctant to leave the club and turned down a move to Turkish champions Galatasaray.[64]

As the club continued its attempts to terminate Kinkladze's contract, he trained with the reserve team up to 29 September, missing Derby's first five matches of the 2002–03 season.[65][66] He was brought back to the first team following two defeats, introduced as a substitute after an hour's stalemate against Stoke City on 31 September. His introduction proved crucial in turning the game into a 2–0 win for Derby, as he took part in the build-up of both goals.[67] He then missed a number of matches through injuries, featuring in around half of Derby's games in the remainder of 2002. In October 2002, Georgian national team head coach Aleksandr Chivadze unexpectedly omitted Kinkladze and captain Georgi Nemsadze from the team for their match against Russia, causing a stir in Georgia.[68] Kinkladze, surprised and disappointed, said: "When I was out of form, he constantly phoned me, asked me about my play and called me to the team. Now I'm fit, scoring goals, but he didn't call me and even didn't phone."[68] Both Kinkladze and Nemsadze returned to the starting line-up for the next European Championship qualifying match against Ireland.[69] By January, because of the financial crisis at Derby, Kinkladze had not been paid for over three months.[70] He intended to quit, but although his agent admitted interest from German side Hamburg and a second enquiry from Galatasaray,[70] no move transpired and he remained at the club. He played for Derby more often in the second half of the season, and his form resulted in him being named the supporters player of the year.[71] Derby finished the season in the bottom half of the table, and needed to reduce costs for the next season as their Premier League parachute payments had ended. As a result Derby offered Kinkladze a one-year contract, but on a wage one third of that of his previous contract.[72] Kinkladze decided to turn down this contract extension proposal, desiring a move to a more successful club with a chance of winning trophies. To this end, he held talks with Liverpool in May 2003.[73] As contract negotiations with Derby did not reach a positive conclusion, Kinkladze left the club.[74]

Without a club during pre-season, Kinkladze trained with Portsmouth, where his former manager Jim Smith was on the coaching staff. He played for Portsmouth in one pre-season friendly, but Portsmouth decided to sign another former Manchester City playmaker, Eyal Berkovic, instead.[75] Over the next few months he was linked with moves to Scottish clubs Dundee and Celtic, and later Leeds United, but none resulted in the a contract offer.[76][77][78] As a consequence, he had to train individually and lost his place in the national team again, this time before the return match against Russia.[79] In December 2003, Kinkladze went for a one-week trial at Panathinaikos following an invitation from Giannis Vardinogiannis, the owner of the Greek club.[80] However, at the end of the trial the club decided not to sign him. Six months later he was linked with a move to Russian club Shinnik Yaroslavl, but again he was not offered a contract.[81]

Anorthosis

Kinkladze's year and a half spell without a club came to an end in October 2004. Kinkladze's former international team-mate Temuri Ketsbaia was player-coach at financially troubled Cypriot team Anorthosis Famagusta. Ketsbaia gave his old friend a chance to rebuild his career, offering him a contract to play for Anorthosis.[7][82][83] Kinkladze thus became one of the best known footballers ever to have played in Cyprus.[84] He made his debut against title contenders APOEL on 21 November and marked it with a fine goal.[85][86][87] He scored once more in a 5–0 home victory against Olympiakos Nicosia,[86] and in February he was recalled to Georgia's squad for the friendly against Lithuania.[88] His contract was initially only for one season, but the club extended it for another year. Anorthosis ended the season successfully by winning the Cypriot championship and earned a place in the qualifying rounds of UEFA Champions League 2005-06, where, thanks to the club's good run, Kinkladze played five times. He started both legs of a 2–1 first round aggregate win against Dinamo Minsk, was twice a substitute in a historic 3–2 second round aggregate win against Turkish Super League runners-up Trabzonspor,[89] and played the full 90 minutes in a 1–2 third round home defeat against Rangers.[90][91][92][93][94] His display against Rangers caught the attention of Rubin Kazan’s manager Gurban Berdiýew, who invited him to join the Russian club.[7] On 22 August 2005, Kinkladze played his last game for Anorthosis against AC Omonia in Cypriot Super Cup and two days later, on the day of the second leg of the tie against Rangers, he left for Kazan to close a deal with Rubin.[95] Ketsbaia said regarding the departure: "I don't want players who have no wish to play for Anorthosis. As far as I'm concerned the Kinkladze chapter is now closed."[96]

Rubin Kazan

Anorthosis and Rubin reached an agreement on 26 August. Kinkladze signed a contract until the end of the season, becoming the most decorated Georgian footballer to play in the Russian Premier League.[97][98] He made his debut for Rubin the next day, playing the full 90 minutes of a league match against FC Rostov.[99] The debut was a successful one; his corner kick was headed into the net by Vitalijs Astafjevs for the only goal of the match.[100] He had less remarkable performances in the next two games and was substituted both times.[101][102] This did not affect Berdyev's faith in him, and at the post-match press conference he defended Kinkladze: "He needs time. He is an experienced player who, I think, will help the team."[102] The next game for Rubin was a 5–1 away win against low-ranked Terek, and Kinkladze made a considerable contribution to it, scoring two goals and making two assists.[103] At first he took part in a short corner which resulted in the first goal of the game. Terek equalised before the break, but within seventeen minutes of the restart Kinkladze restored the lead, collecting a pass from Alejandro Domínguez inside the penalty area, beating a defender and curling the ball into the far corner.[103] Six minutes later Kinkladze and Andrés Scotti combined for Tomáš Čížek to score, three minutes later Kinkladze raced into the box, dribbled past four players and struck a left-footed shot into the top corner.[104] In the next game at home against FC Tom Tomsk Kinkladze missed a late penalty, denying Rubin a vital victory. After the match Berdyev claimed he made a mistake in his choice of penalty taker.[105]

Berdyev continued to have faith in Kinkladze, giving him a place in the starting eleven, and that produced good results. Kinkladze settled his initial difficulties with adaptation and went on to make a valuable contribution, playing as a playmaker and helping the team to transit from defence to attack with his ability to hold on to the ball.[7][106] He was used as one of three offensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation.[107] The arrival of Kinkladze, with his technical style and inclination for improvisation, brought more variety to the attacking play of the team and was in contrast to the restrained style of play that Berdyev favoured.[107] He provided an assist in four consecutive matches,[108][109][110][111] most importantly against FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, in a match that decided a place in the following year's UEFA Cup. Consequently, he received a recall to the Georgian national squad for friendlies against Bulgaria and Jordan.[112] However, a muscle strain meant he missed both national team games and Rubin's final league match.[113][114] He ended the 2005 season with seven assists and two goals in nine appearances for Rubin.[7]

Rubin delayed in offering Kinkladze a contract extension, leading Anorthosis to make an attempt to re-sign him early in the pre-season,[115] but Kinkladze rejected the offer as he wished to stay at Rubin.[113] By late December, Rubin expressed a desire to retain him but contract talks were delayed, due to family reasons,[116] and it took until mid-January for a new one-year contract to be agreed.[117] In the new season, Berdyev intended to switch to a 4-3-3 formation and use Kinkladze, who at that moment was considered as one of the team's leaders,[118] together with Damani Ralph and Vladimir Bairamov in attack.[119] The coach said the level of play shown by the trio during pre-season was "very serious".[119]

During his successful 2005 season, 32-year-old Kinkladze said he hoped to play on until he was 35.[113] The 2006 season, however, transpired to be his final season. He picked up an injury in Rubin's first competitive match of the year,[120] a cup match defeat against Shinnik which proved to be the last time he played a full match.[121] A recurrence of an old injury meant he was sidelined for longer than expected,[122] only making his return to full training in late May.[123] Kinkladze continued to struggle for fitness,[124] making five further appearances for Rubin, two of which were starts.[121] A match against Rostov on 20 August 2006 was the last of Kinkladze's playing career.[121] In September, he was called to the Georgia national team[125] but did not play or appear on the substitutes' bench.[126][127] A short time later he had to undergo another course of medical treatment.[128] He also passed a thorough medical, the results of which were reported as the deciding factor for his future at the club.[129] In October, he was an unused substitute just once; he and his compatriots were the subject of criticism from Rubin's general director who announced to the press "there are questions about the Georgians in the team regarding their training and attitude to football".[130] In November Kinkladze again suffered an injury and missed the remainder of the season.[131]

After a disappointing year for Kinkladze, Rubin decided not to renew his contract.[98] In January 2007, he held talks with his previous club, Anorthosis Famagusta,[132] but the transfer never materialised, despite reports to the contrary by some Russian press sources.[133][134] In an interview on 31 August 2007 Kinkladze's former international team-mate Malkhaz Asatiani confirmed that Kinkladze had finished his career and settled in Moscow.[135]

Style of play

Kinkladze's position was as a playmaking midfielder, typically playing further forward than the rest of the midfield. The main aim of this role is to create goalscoring chances, suiting a creative player like Kinkladze. Dribbling ability was generally viewed as one of Kinkladze's strongest attributes,[136][137] and his jinking runs with the ball resulted in some spectacular goals, most notably his "Goal of the Month" against Southampton. Set piece ability was another of Kinkladze's strengths; he regularly took corners and free kicks. He also took penalties; seven of his Manchester City goals were scored from the spot, though he stopped taking penalties for the club following two consecutive misses in the 1997–98 season.[138]

Weaker points of Kinkladze's game were those related to defending. He was not noted for tackling, which sometimes caused frustration for his managers, Colin Todd remarking wistfully in 2001 that "Georgi has to understand that there is an art to tackling".[59] Unwillingness to tackle and accusations of a lack of effort were also the source of Joe Royle's omission of Kinkladze from his Manchester City side.[30]

On occasions Kinkladze played as a second striker, a role with less positional responsibility. Periods when Kinkladze was used in this way included Frank Clark's first months as Manchester City manager,[139] and when playing alongside Fabrizio Ravanelli at Derby County.[140] Though a left-footed player, he did not perform well when played as a left winger, and publicly expressed his distaste for playing in the position.[21]

Over the course of his career he was Georgian player of the year twice, was club player of the year three times at English clubs, and has been described by Eastern European sources as the brightest Georgian talent of the 1990s.[141][142] In 2005, he placed third in a BBC poll to find Manchester City's all-time "cult hero".[143]

Statistics

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International career

(Note: a number after slash represents overall number of matches the Georgian national team played in the respective year)

National team Year Apps Goals Yellow card.svg Red card.svg Ref
Georgia 1992 1/3 0 0 0 [10]
1993 0/1 0 0 0 [144]
1994 10/11 1 1 0 [145]
1995 6/6 2 0 0 [146]
1996 4/8 0 0 0 [147]
1997 6/7 2 1 1 [148]
1998 7/11 1 0 0 [149]
1999 1/8 0 0 0 [150]
2000 5/10 2 0 0 [151]
2001 6/10 0 0 0 [152]
2002 3/4 0 0 0 [153]
2003 2/8 0 0 0 [69]
2004 3/9 0 0 0 [154]
2005 1/11 0 0 0 [155]
Total 55 8 2 1

International goals

(Georgia's goal tally first)

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Note Ref
1 1994-11-16 Tbilisi, Georgia  Wales 2–0 5–0 Euro 1996 qualification [145]
2 1995-06-07 Cardiff, Wales  Wales 1–0 1–0 Euro 1996 qualification [146]
3 1995-10-11 Tbilisi, Georgia  Bulgaria 2–0 2–1 Euro 1996 qualification Penalty kick [146]
4 1997-03-29 Tbilisi, Georgia  Armenia 2–0 7–0 Friendly Penalty kick [148]
5 1997-06-07 Batumi, Georgia  Moldova 2–0 2–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qual. Penalty kick [148]
6 1998-05-02 Sousa, Tunisia  Tunisia 1–0 1–1 Friendly [149]
7 2000-03-29 Ashqelon, Israel  Israel 1–0 1–1 Friendly [151]
8 2000-10-07 Kaunas, Lithuania  Lithuania 3–0 4–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qual. [151]

Honours

Mretebi Tbilisi

  • Georgian Second Division: 1991

Dinamo Tbilisi

Anorthosis Famagusta

Individual

References

  1. ^ "Kinkladze £5m Ajax move". BBC Sport. 1998-05-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sport/football/94543.stm. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Frustrated Kinkladze Drafts in Lawyer". 4thegame. 2001-11-29. http://www.4thegame.com/club/derby-county-fc/news/88179/Frustrated+Kinkladze+drafts+in+lawyer.html. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  3. ^ "'Gio is the best of the lot' - says Lee". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 1996-03-01. http://archive.lancashireeveningtelegraph.co.uk/1996/3/1/858075.html. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  4. ^ "Kinky in Holland". BBC Sport. 1998-04-01. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sport/football/72327.stm. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  5. ^ "Georgi Kinkladze's father robbed" (in Russian). Sport Express. http://news.sport-express.ru/online/ntext/3/nl030560.html. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  6. ^ a b Clayton, David (2005). Kinkladze: The Perfect 10. Manchester: Parrs Wood. ISBN 1-903158-60-5.  p26.
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