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Yuri Zhirkov

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Yuri Zhirkov

Yuri Zhirkov

Zhirkov with Russia in 2014
Personal information
Full name Yuri Valentinovich Zhirkov[1]
Date of birth (1983-08-20) 20 August 1983
Place of birth Tambov, RSFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2][3]
Playing position Left Winger / Left Back
Club information
Current team
Dynamo Moscow
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)
2009–2011 Chelsea 29 (1)
2011–2013 Anzhi 46 (3)
2013– Dynamo Moscow 25 (3)
National team
2005– Russia 62 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 December 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 June 2014

Yuri Valentinovich Zhirkov (Russian: Ю́рий Валенти́нович Жирко́в; born 20 August 1983 in Tambov, Soviet Union) is a Russian footballer who plays for Dynamo Moscow and the Russian national team.

A left-sided player who can play full-back or winger, he began his career at local Spartak Tambov before joining top-flight CSKA Moscow in 2004. Domestic and European success followed, and in 2009 he moved to English Premier League club Chelsea for £18 million. After two seasons there he returned to Russia with Anzhi Makhachkala, who sold him to Dynamo in 2013.

Zhirkov has earned 62 international caps since 2005. His performance at Euro 2008, in which Russia reached the semi-finals, was recognised with his inclusion in the Team of the Tournament and award as well as Russian Footballer of the Year. He was also selected for Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Early life

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. He skipped training to help his family grow vegetables during the summer so that they could have adequate food during the winter. His first coach was Valery Sharapov who signed him for the Tambov Regional Children and Youth Sports School.[4]

Club career

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


Zhirkov joined CSKA in January 2004. His first official game was on 7 March 2004 in the Russian Super Cup against Spartak. CSKA's 3–1 victory gave him his first trophy. Zhirkov made his debut in the Champions League on 27 July against Neftchi Baku. He also appeared in the third qualifying round against Rangers.

Zhirkov playing for CSKA Moscow

He made his debut in the CIS 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, against Sporting Lisbon at their own Estádio José Alvalade, Zhirkov scored a goal in the 65th minute which gave CSKA a 2–1 lead. The final score was 3–1, making CSKA the first Russian team to win the UEFA Cup.[5]

Zhirkov 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 selected as the best goal of the competition by UEFA's official magazine.[2] 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.


On 6 July 2009, Zhirkov joined Chelsea on a four-year contract for a reported fee of £18 million,[6][7] 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.[8] He scored on his debut, in a friendly against AC Milan, that ended as the winning goal.[9] After regaining fitness from a knee injury, he made his competitive debut at left back against Queens Park Rangers in a League Cup tie on 23 September.[10]

After battling a knee injury he made his Champions League debut for Chelsea on 25 November against F.C. Porto playing as a left back and setting up the goal of his teammate Nicolas Anelka in a 1–0 win. Zhirkov then made his Premier League debut as a substitute for Joe Cole against West Ham United on 20 December 2009.[11]

Zhirkov playing for Chelsea against Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on 19 October 2010

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 Chelsea were defeated 1–0 on the night and 3–1 on aggregate.[12] In March 2010, he won two penalties for Chelsea against Aston Villa, both converted by Frank Lampard, as Chelsea won 7–1.

On 13 April 2010, Zhirkov put on the man of the match performance against Bolton Wanderers despite receiving an injury which lead to him getting four stitches in his head and had his head bandaged for the remainder of the first half after a clash with the Bolton captain Kevin Davies.[13] During his first season with the club they won the league and FA Cup double making it the club's most successful season ever. His only goal for Chelsea came on 19 October 2010, a volley in a UEFA Champions League match against Spartak Moscow.[14]

He also started for the first team as a replacement for the injured Ramires against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge and Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park providing two crucial assists. On 1 March, he came on as a substitute in the 71st minute, replacing Florent Malouda against title rivals Manchester United. Zhirkov won a penalty in the 78th minute, taken and scored by Frank Lampard, which proved to be the match-winner. He also hit the post, and the ball was deflected into the net by United centre back Nemanja Vidić. The final score was 2–1 in favour of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.[15]


Zhirkov with Anzhi in 2011

On 14 August 2011, Chelsea announced the departure of Zhirkov to Russian Premier League side Anzhi for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around £13.2 million.[16] Zhirkov signed a four-year contract with the Russian team.[17][18] Zhirkov's first Anzhi goal came in a 2-1 win against Amkar Perm on 29 October 2011, hitting a rebound from a corner into the back of the net.[19]

In his last game for Anzhi, on 1 June 2013, he played the entire match as they lost the Russian Cup final to his former team CSKA in a penalty shootout following a 1–1 draw. Both Zhirkov and Jucilei missed their penalties.


On 6 August 2013, Anzhi listed their whole squad up for sale as they announced plans to restructure the business, focusing on youth development. The first players to leave were Igor Denisov, Aleksandr Kokorin and Zhirkov on 15 August 2013, who all joined Dynamo Moscow for undisclosed fees.[20]

He played 14 league matches in his first season, scoring 3 goals: one in a 2–0 win against Krylia Sovetov Samara on his 29 September debut, and two in a 4–2 win over former club CSKA on 9 March.[21]

On 2 October 2014, in added time at the end of their Europa League group match against PSV Eindhoven, substitute Zhirkov scored the only goal of the game for Dynamo.[22]

International career

Zhirkov playing for Russia in 2011

Zhirkov has currently won 62 caps for the Russia national football team. He made his debut on 9 February 2005, starting a 2–0 friendly defeat to Italy in Cagliari.[23]

He was named in the UEFA Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament after helping the team to the semi-finals.[24] 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.[25]

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 offence in the dying minutes of Russia's 0–1 away loss to Slovenia in the 2nd leg of the 2010 World Cup play-off after pushing a Slovenian substitute.

In August 2011, was heckled by Russian fans during a friendly match against Serbia in Moscow, almost every time he contacted the ball and even bombarded with a cigarette packet near the corner area. The fans were angered by his move to Anzhi.[26] Zhirkov was confirmed for Russia's UEFA Euro 2012 squad on 25 May 2012,[27] and played all three games as the team were eliminated in the group stage.

On 2 June 2014, he was included in Russia's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad.[28] In the final preparation match for the tournament, his 61st cap, he scored his first international goal with a volley to open a 2–0 win over Morocco.[29] Zhirkov featured in one match at the finals, playing 71 minutes of the opening 1–1 draw against South Korea before being replaced by Aleksandr Kerzhakov;[30] Russia again exited at the group stage.

Career statistics


As of 11 May 2014[21]
Club Season League Cup Europe Super Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
CSKA 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 17 0 6 0 4 0 0 0 27 0
2010–11 12 0 2 0 7 1 0 0 21 1
Total 29 0 8 0 11 1 0 0 48 1
Anzhi 2011–12 23 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 24 1
2012–13 23 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 26 2
Total 46 3 1 0 3 0 0 0 50 3
Dynamo 2013–14 14 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 3
Career Total 228 21 33 4 62 5 4 1 327 32


As of match played 17 June 2014[31]
Year Apps Goals
2005 4 0
2006 3 0
2007 9 0
2008 12 0
2009 6 0
2010 5 3
2011 9 0
2012 7 0
2013 4 0
2014 3 1
Total 62 1

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 6 June 2014 Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow, Russia  Morocco 1–0 2–0 Friendly

Personal life


Zhirkov has a sister and two brothers.[4] The younger brother, Nikolai, plays for the CSKA Youth Team. Zhirkov married on 1 February 2008 to a Russian model, Inna.[32] On 8 September 2008, their son Dmitriy was born.[32]


Zhirkov has had two automotive accidents in his life. The first accident occurred in January 2005 in Tambov. The 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.[33] On 18 December 2008 Zhirkov was in an accident in Kaliningrad. He left this accident unharmed.


CSKA Moscow



  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream. p. 452.  
  2. ^ a b "Yuri Zhirkov profile". Chelsea F.C. Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Harvey, Oliver (12 January 2011). "Zhirkov’s family was so poor he skipped training to grow food for the winter". The Sun. 
  5. ^ "Sporting 1-3 CSKA Moscow".  
  7. ^ City snub: Greedy Samuel Eto’o demands a £13 million sign-on fee to leave Barcelona
  8. ^ United cult hero Kanchelskis tips Chelsea new boy Zhirkov to shine as brightly as Arshavin
  9. ^ Zhirkov's Debut Goal Enough As Chelsea Sneak Past A.C. Milan
  10. ^
  11. ^ "West Ham United 1 – 1 Chelsea". ESPN Soccernet. 20 December 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Chelsea 0–1 Inter Milan (agg 1–3)". BBC News. 16 March 2010. 
  13. ^ Banks, Tony (14 April 2010). "Nicolas Anelka's timing is champion for Chelsea".  
  14. ^ "Spartak Moscow 0–2 Chelsea". BBC News. 19 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "Second Half Salvo Sinks United". ESPN Soccernet. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Zhirkov Departs". Chelsea. 6 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Chelsea agree deal to sign Anderlecht's Romelu Lukaku". BBC News. 6 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Anzhi Makhachkala sign Yuri Zhirkov from Chelsea". The Daily Telegraph (London). 5 August 2011. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Doyle, Mark (15 August 2013). "Dinamo Moscow swoop for Anzhi trio Denisov, Zhirkov & Kokorin".  
  21. ^ a b "Y. Zhirkov". Soccerway. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  22. ^ Van Portvliet, Richard (2 October 2014). "Dínamo bate PSV nos descontos" [Dynamo beat PSV in added time] (in Portuguese).  
  23. ^ "Italy v Russia". Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  24. ^ (German) FC Chelsea verpflichtet Zhirkov von ZSKA Moskau
  25. ^ "England trio on Euro award list". BBC. 19 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008. 
  26. ^ "Zhirkov booed by fans in Moscow". BBC News. 11 August 2011. 
  27. ^ "Advocaat announced the finalized Euro Squad" (in Russian). 25 May 2012. 
  28. ^ Состав национальной сборной России на ЧМ-2014 (in Russian).  
  29. ^ "Yuri Zhirkov rounds off Russia’s warm-ups in style against Morocco".  
  30. ^ Oliver, Pete (18 June 2014). "Russia 1-1 South Korea".  
  31. ^ "Yuri Zhirkov". European Football. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  32. ^ a b Gripper, Ann (6 July 2009). "Yuri Zhirkov profile: 10 things you need to know about the Chelsea signing". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  33. ^ Gray, Ashley (8 July 2009). "Yuri the electrician set to spark Chelsea after coming from Russia with love". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  34. ^ UEFA Cup Assists Leaders – 2008/09 – ESPN Soccernet. (14 May 2008). Retrieved 4 February 2011.

External links

  • UEFA profile
  • ESPN profile
  • FIFA profile
  • Premier League profile
  • BBC Sport profile
  • Soccerway profile
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