Aleksey Smertin at a press conference
|Full name||Aleksey Gennadyevich Smertin|
|Date of birth||1 May 1975|
|Place of birth||Barnaul, RSFSR, Soviet Union|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|2003–2004||→ Portsmouth (loan)||26||(0)|
|2005–2006||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||18||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Aleksey Gennadyevich Smertin (Russian: Алексей Геннадьевич Смертин) (born 1 May 1975) is a retired footballer. He retired from professional football after having his contract with Fulham terminated and discovering a new career in politics. Smertin was the captain of the Russian national team. He was a fairly versatile player and was able to play in defence as well as midfield.
Born in Barnaul, Russian SFSR, Smertin has previously played for Dinamo Barnaul, Zarya Leninsk-Kuznetsky, Uralan Elista, Lokomotiv Moscow, and French team Girondins Bordeaux before moving on to Chelsea. His older brother Yevgeni Smertin played football professionally as well.
Chelsea, Portsmouth and Charlton
Claudio Ranieri brought Smertin to Chelsea from Bordeaux in August 2003 for £3.45m before loaning him out to Portsmouth for the 2003–04 season. After some impressive performances at Fratton Park, most notably in Pompey's 1–0 victory over Manchester United, Smertin returned to London. However, Ranieri had now been succeeded by José Mourinho, who had made his own midfield signing in compatriot Tiago Mendes, adding to a midfield that already boasted Frank Lampard, Claude Makélélé, Geremi, and Scott Parker. Smertin only played a bit-part role for the team in 2004–05 as Chelsea won the title, but made enough appearances to earn a medal (16 in total). He did however score his first and only Chelsea goal this season, in the 3–1 Champions League win over Porto.
He was ultimately deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and was loaned out to Charlton Athletic for the 2005–06 season. At Charlton, he was a starter and had some impressive performances. In March 2006, he was transferred to Dynamo Moscow, for a fee of £1 million.
In an interview with the European Soccer Magazine in March 2006, Smertin insisted that he harboured no ill-feeling whatsoever towards Mourinho, and that he was grateful to have been able to participate in the celebrations at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea were crowned FA Premier League champions. Smertin also insisted that his time in England was "a good experience", and that he now believes more firmly than before that the Premier League is the most challenging domestic competition in world football.
Smertin played a total of 22 games for Dynamo Moscow before being transfer listed, alongside several other newly-signed players, such as Maniche, Francisco Lima, Costinha and Giourkas Seitaridis in Andrey Kobelev's massive attempt at rebuilding the team for the new season.
After Smertin's release from Dynamo Moscow, he returned to England, signing for Fulham on a two and a half year deal that would see him remain at the club until the summer of 2009. He started most of the opening games of the 2007–08 season but the arrival of fellow-midfielder Danny Murphy on transfer deadline day restricted his playing opportunities. In addition, he suffered from several injury problems. When fit, Simon Davies and Danny Murphy were often preferred as the midfield pairing. On 30 August 2008, Fulham manager Roy Hodgson informed Smertin that he was free to leave the club. The following day the club cancelled his contract with immediate effect.
Smertin made his debut for Russia in 1998 in a 1–0 defeat against Iceland. He was capped over 50 times for Russia, and was selected for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He was made captain in June 2004. Andrey Arshavin took over the duties as Russian Captain after Smertin. There was speculation Smertin might return to the national team but that died away since Smertin began to lose playing time at Fulham and Russia qualified for UEFA Euro 2008 with a young team on the last day of qualifying.
- Russian Cup (1999)
- Coupe de la Ligue (2002)
- Football League Cup (2005)
- Premier League (2005)
- FA Community Shield (2005)
Smertin is married to fellow Siberian Larisa, and also has a son. After failing to find a new club after leaving Fulham, Smertin turned his hand to politics back home in Russia. In March 2009, he was elected as an MP in the Altai region of Russia.
- "Chelsea 3–1 Porto". BBC Sport. 29 September 2004. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- Smertin completes move to Moscow BBC Sport, 15 March 2006, Retrieved 14 October 2007
- Fulham complete Smertin signing BBC Sport Online, 27 January 2006, Retrieved 14 October 2007
- HODGSON TRIMS WAGE BILL
- "Alexei Smertin" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "Alexei Smertin: The football explorer for whom life is an open book". The Independent. UK. 31 October 2004. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- Ex-Chelsea star Smertin turns to politics
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aleksey Smertin.|
- Alexey Smertin career stats at Soccerbase
- Alexey Smertin at National-Football-Teams.com
- Russian league stats
- Alexey Smertin's website (Russian)