Akinfeev with Russia in 2014
|Full name||Igor Vladimirovich Akinfeev|
|Date of birth||8 April 1986|
|Place of birth||Vidnoye, Moscow Oblast, Soviet Union|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 April 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
Igor Vladimirovich Akinfeev (Russian: Игорь Влади́мирович Акинфе́ев, Игорь Акинфеев; IPA: [ˈiɡərʲ vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ ɐkʲɪnˈfʲeɪf]; born 8 April 1986) is a Russian international football goalkeeper who is the captain of CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League. He is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.
He has spent his entire career at CSKA, winning five Russian Premier League titles, and five Russian Cups, as well as the UEFA Cup in 2005. A full international for Russia since 2004, he has earned over 75 caps and has been selected in their squads for three European Championships and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Igor Akinfeev was born on 8 April 1986 in the town of Vidnoye in Moscow Oblast. When he was 4 years old his father sent him to the Sports school of CSKA. He has been a goalkeeper since his second training. As a member of the junior CSKA Moscow team he won the Russian Junior Championship in 2002, in the same year he graduated from the CSKA Football Academy.
Akinfeev broke into the CSKA starting line-up at the age of 17 in 2003, and has been the first-choice goalkeeper at the club ever since. He played in the 2005 UEFA Cup Final, which CSKA won 3–1 against Sporting Lisbon at their opponents' Estádio José Alvalade. In 2006, he won the Zvezda trophy, awarded to the best football player from the former Soviet Union.
In the second part of the 2009 season, it emerged as a question why Akinfeev let many shots in through his legs. Examples include strikes from Argentina's Lisandro López, Lokomotiv Moscow's Dmitri Sychev, Wolfsburg's Grafite and Welliton of Spartak Moscow. Former Soviet international goalkeeper Anzor Kavazashvili argued this is because Akinfeev is running out from goal toward strikers at his top speed, thus denying himself a chance to react adequately or maneuver. Akinfeev solved this issue by altering his goalkeeping positions and this resulted in him conceding less, as well as adjusting the grips of his studs so he can control his runs.
Akinfeev made his debut for the Russian national team in a friendly match against Norway on 28 April 2004, aged 18 years and 20 days. He thus became the third youngest player to compete for Russia after Eduard Streltsov and Sergey Rodionov and the youngest international footballer ever in the history of the Russian Federation. He was later included into the Russian UEFA Euro 2004 squad as the third choice goalkeeper behind Sergei Ovchinnikov and Vyacheslav Malafeev.
His major competitive debut was on 30 March 2005, in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Estonia and he was later promoted to Russia's first-choice goalkeeper after a long-term injury to Malafeev. Akinfeev kept his first choice place under Yuri Semin and later Guus Hiddink. On 6 May 2007, Akinfeev suffered a knee injury in a 1–1 draw against FC Rostov which put him out of action for four months. As a result he lost his first choice position to Vyacheslav Malafeev and later Vladimir Gaboulov. He returned to the Russian national squad in early November but was deemed unfit for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel. Akinfeev later re-established his first choice place for Russia at UEFA Euro 2008, and played every match as the nation reached the semi-finals.
He was confirmed for the finalized UEFA Euro 2012 squad on 25 May 2012, but Malafeev played all of Russia's matches and the nation was eliminated in the group stages. On 2 June 2014, Akinfeev was included in Russia's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad,
In Russia's first group match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup against South Korea, Akinfeev fumbled a long-range shot from Lee Keun-ho, dropping it over the line to give the Koreans the lead. Russia then went on to equalize, and the match finished 1–1. The final group stage match between Algeria and Russia on 26 June ended 1–1, advancing Algeria and eliminating Russia. A win for Russia would have seen them qualify, and they led the game 1–0 after six minutes. In the 60th minute of the game, a green laser was shone in Akinfeev's face while he was defending from an Algerian free kick, from which Islam Slimani scored to equalise. Both Akinfeev and Russian coach Fabio Capello blamed the laser for the decisive conceded goal.
On 27 March 2015, in a European qualifier away to Montenegro, Akinfeev was struck in the head by a flare launched from the crowd, 20 seconds after kick-off. The game was called off for 35 minutes while he was treated, and resumed with his substitution for Yuri Lodigin. It was eventually abandoned after a brawl, while Akinfeev was taken to a Podgorica hospital with a neck injury and light burns.
Statistics correct as of matches played 25 November 2014
- CSKA Moscow
- Russian Premier League (5): 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Russian Cup (6): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
- Russian Super Cup (6): 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014
- UEFA Cup (1): 2004–05
- 2012–13 Russian Premier League Player of the Year
- Baltic and Commonwealth of Independent States Footballer of the Year ("Star") by Sport-Express (2006)
- The best young football player of Russian Premier League (2005)
- List of 33 best football player of the Russian Championship: # 1 (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012/13, 2013/14); # 2 (2011/2012); # 3 (2004).
- The best Russian goalkeeper according to Russian Football Union (2008, 2009, 2010)
- The best young goalkeeper of Europe (2008)
- member of Lev Yashin club
- Russian CSKA Prize "Golden Horseshoe": one golden horseshoe (2010) and four silver horseshoe (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)
- Order of Friendship (2006)
- Lev Yashin Prize "Goalkeeper of the year" (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
- "Sporting 1-3 CSKA Moscow". BBC Sport. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "У вратарей тоже есть нервы" (in Russian). Sports Daily. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- "Хорошо! Но мало..." (in Russian). Sovetsky Sport. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- "Advocaat announced the finalized Euro Squad" (in Russian). 25 May 2012.
- "Состав национальной сборной России на ЧМ-2014" (in Russian). Russian Football Union. 2 June 2014.
- "Russia v South Korea: World Cup 2014 – as it happened". The Guardian. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- Sid Lowe at the Arena da Baixada (26 June 2014). "Algeria 1-1 Russia; World Cup 2014 Group H match report". The Guardian.
- "World Cup 2014: Fabio Capello unhappy at laser shone at keeper". BBC Sport. 27 June 2014.
- "Russia keeper Akinfeev hit by flare in abandoned Montenegro match". BBC Sport. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
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