Yuri Zhirkov: Wikis

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Yuri Zhirkov
Zhirkov playing for Chelsea
Personal information
Full name Yuri Valentinovich Zhirkov
Date of birth August 20, 1983 (1983-08-20) (age 26)
Place of birth Tambov, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Left Winger, Left Wingback
Club information
Current club Chelsea
Number 18
Youth career
1997–2001 Spartak Tambov
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2003 Spartak Tambov 74 (26)
2004–2009 CSKA Moscow 139 (15)
2009– Chelsea 10 (0)
National team
2005– Russia 34 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:45, 2 February 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 08:09, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Yuri Valentinovich Zhirkov (born 20 August 1983 in Tambov) is a Russian football defender/midfielder who currently plays for Chelsea and the Russian national team. He can play anywhere on the left flank. He is renowned for his pace, technique and excellent crosses.

Contents

Early life

Yuri Valentinovich Zhirkov was born in Tambov, on 20 August 1983. His father, Valentin Ivanovich Zhirkov worked at the "Revtrud" factory and his mother was a postwoman. Yuri was the second child in the family. The family lived in poverty, struggling to buy basic goods such as food and clothes.[2] To keep Yuri busy, his parents often sent him to play football in the yard. In 1994, Zhirkov was enrolled in the "Revtrud" sports school. Valeri Vasilyevich Sharapov became his first coach. At the same year, he took part in a football tournament in Kamyshin and was named "the best halfback of the tournament" there.

Club career

Zhirkov started his career at FC Spartak Tambov where he scored 26 goals in 74 games playing as a winger before leaving to CSKA Moscow

CSKA Moscow

Zhirkov joined CSKA Moscow in January 2004. His first participation in an official game was on 7 March 2004 in the Russian Super Cup against Spartak Moscow. CSKA's 3-1 victory gave Yuri his first trophy. Artur Jorge promised for a "great future" of Yuri after that game. Zhirkov made his debut in the Champions League on 27 July against Neftchi Baku PFC. He also appeared in the third qualifying round against Rangers F.C.

Zhirkov won the 2004-05 UEFA Cup with CSKA, and scored in the final as the team beat Portuguese side Sporting 3–1. His goal against Hamburger SV in the UEFA Champions League 2006-07 was chosen as best goal of the competition by UEFA Magazine "Goal". He made six appearances in the group stages, scoring once.

Zhirkov playing for CSKA Moscow

He made his debut in the Commonwealth of Independent States Cup against FC Gomel and was replaced in the 70th minute. The final score was 2-2. In his second game, against FC Pakhtakor Tashkent, he played all 90 minutes, with the final score being 2-1. In the last qualifying match against Regar-TadAZ Tursunzoda which also ended 2-1, Yuri played all 90 minutes. After the Cup, Yuri Adzhem claimed that Yuri had a good chance to receive a permanent place in the squad.

Although Zhirkov missed the first game against S.L. Benfica, he participated in the return game. He also took part in both games vs. FK Partizan and made a save in the second game. After beating Auxerre and Parma CSKA made its way to the final. On 18 May 2005 in Lisboa at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, Zhirkov scored a goal in the 65th minute and CSKA took the lead 2-1. The final score in that game was 3-1, making CSKA the first football club from Russia to win the Barnet FC Cup.

Yuri participated in all six games of the group stage in the 2006 Champions League. On 6 December 2006 he scored a brilliant goal against Hamburger SV, which was highly honoured and was awarded best goal of the competition by UEFA's official magazine.[3] In the 2007-08 season, however, CSKA lost almost every game in Europe.

Zhirkov began his participation in the following season of European competition on 18 September 2008, against Croatian club NK Slaven Belupo. CSKA came from behind to win their first match 2-1. In the next game, CSKA beat Deportivo, 3-0. Zhirkov provided goal assists against AS Nancy, Feyenoord and scored in the game with Lech Poznań. It was his third goal in European competition.

In 2009, Zhirkov participated in three games in European competitions, two against Aston Villa and one against Shakhtar Donetsk. In the second game, he scored his first goal in the 2009 tournament. In the third game, he was cautioned by the referee and, therefore, missed the next game.

Chelsea

On 6 July 2009, Zhirkov joined Chelsea on a four-year deal for a reported fee of £18m,[4][5] exceeding the £15 million that Arsenal paid for Andrei Arshavin in January 2009, thus making Zhirkov the most expensive Russian football player of all time.[6] He scored on his debut, in a friendly against AC Milan, that ended as the winning goal.[7] After a knee injury in pre-season, Zhirkov missed out on the chance to get a winners medal within a month of joining the Blues when they defeated Manchester United on penalties in the 2009 Community Shield.[8] After regaining fitness from a knee injury, he made his competitive debut at left back against Queens Park Rangers in a Carling Cup tie on September 23.[9]

After battling a knee injury he made a his full Champions League debut for Chelsea on November 25th against F.C. Porto playing as left back setting up the goal for team mate Nicolas Anelka in a 1-0 win and made his Premier League debut as a substitute for Joe Cole against West Ham United on 20 December 2009. He made his first Premier League start in a 2-1 victory over Fulham on 28 December. Due to Ashley Cole's injury against Everton on 10 February, which ruled him out for three months, Zhirkov became first choice left back.

He was one of Chelsea's best players in the Champions League round of 16 second leg against Inter Milan denying several scoring opportunities from the Italian side's strikers, but it wasn't to be for Chelsea as they were defeated 1-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate to end their European dreams again.[10]

Career statistics

As of 20 December 2009.
Club Season League Cup Europe Super Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
CSKA Moscow 2004 25 6 2 0 10 0 1 0 38 6
2005 20 2 6 1 13 1 0 0 39 3
2006 27 1 6 1 8 1 1 1 42 4
2007 29 2 5 1 8 0 1 0 43 3
2008 28 3 2 0 6 1 0 0 36 4
2009 10 1 3 1 3 1 1 0 17 3
Total 139 15 24 4 48 4 4 1 215 24
Chelsea 2009-10 8 0 3 0 4 0 0 0 15 0
Total 8 0 3 0 4 0 0 0 15 0
Career Total 147 15 27 4 52 4 4 1 230 24

International career

Zhirkov in Russian colours

Zhirkov has played 34 times for the Russia national football team, and was named to the UEFA Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament.[11]

In October 2008, Zhirkov was named as one of the 30 nominees for the Ballon d'Or award, given to the top player in Europe.[12]

On 18 November 2009, Zhirkov received his first red card for the national side - he was sent off late in the game for a second bookable offense in the dying minutes of Russia's 0-1 away loss to Slovenia in the 2nd leg of the 2010 World Cup playoff after pushing a Slovenian substitute.

Personal life

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Family

Zhirkov has a sister and two brothers. The younger brother, Nikolai, plays for the CSKA Youth Team. Zhirkov married on 1 February 2008 to a Russian model, Inna. On 8 September 2008, their son Dmitriy was born.

Accidents

Zhirkov has had two automotive accidents in his life. The first accident occurred in January 2005 in Tambov. A footballer, driving on a high speed track, hit a pole while trying to avoid a merging racer. Zhirkov's airbags deployed, leaving him with only minor injuries. On 18 December 2008 Zhirkov was in an accident in Kaliningrad. He left this accident unharmed.

Honours

CSKA Moscow

References

External links


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