Zhirkov with Anzhi in 2011
|Full name||Yuri Valentinovich Zhirkov|
|Date of birth||20 August 1983|
|Place of birth||Tambov, RSFSR, Soviet Union|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Left Winger/Left Back|
|Current club||Dynamo Moscow|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 December 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Zhirkov has earned 58 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 Russian Footballer of the Year.
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. He had to help his family grow vegetables during the summer so that his family 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.
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 Yuri 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 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 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.
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 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 UEFA Cup.
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. 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 £18m, 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. He scored on his debut, in a friendly against AC Milan, that ended as the winning goal. 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.
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.
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 automatically 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. 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. 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.
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 the 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 Nemanja Vidić, the Manchester United center back. The final score was 2–1 in favour of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
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. Zhirkov signed a four-year contract with the Russian team. 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.
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.
- As of 18:00, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Zhirkov has currently won 58 caps for the Russia national football team since his debut in 2005. and was named in the UEFA Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament after helping the team to the semi-finals. 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. 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. He 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. Zhirkov was confirmed for Russia's UEFA Euro 2012 squad on 25 May 2012.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (August 2009)|
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.
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. On 18 December 2008 Zhirkov was in an accident in Kaliningrad. He left this accident unharmed.
- CSKA Moscow
- UEFA Cup: 2005
- Russian Premier League: 2005, 2006
- Russian Cup: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009
- Russian Super Cup: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009
- UEFA Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament
- Footballer of the Year in Russia (Futbol): 2008
- Nominee for Ballon d'Or 2008
- UEFA Cup top assist: 2008–09
- Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream. p. 452. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- Zhirkov’s family was so poor he skipped training to grow food for the winter
- ZHIRKOV DEAL COMPLETED
- City snub: Greedy Samuel Eto’o demands a £13 million sign-on fee to leave Barcelona
- United cult hero Kanchelskis tips Chelsea new boy Zhirkov to shine as brightly as Arshavin
- Zhirkov's Debut Goal Enough As Chelsea Sneak Past A.C. Milan
- "West Ham United 1 – 1 Chelsea". ESPN Soccernet. 20 December 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- "Chelsea 0–1 Inter Milan (agg 1–3)". BBC News. 16 March 2010.
- "Zhirkov booed by fans in Moscow". BBC News. 11 August 2011.
- "Spartak Moscow 0–2 Chelsea". BBC News. 19 October 2010.
- "Second Half Salvo Sinks United". ESPN Soccernet. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- "Zhirkov Departs". Chelsea. 6 August 2011.
- "Chelsea agree deal to sign Anderlecht's Romelu Lukaku". BBC News. 6 August 2011.
- "Anzhi Makhachkala sign Yuri Zhirkov from Chelsea". The Daily Telegraph (London). 5 August 2011.
- (German) FC Chelsea verpflichtet Zhirkov von ZSKA Moskau
- "England trio on Euro award list". BBC. 19 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Advocaat announced the finalized Euro Squad" (in Russian). 25 May 2012.
- UEFA Cup Assists Leaders – 2008/09 – ESPN Soccernet. Soccernet.espn.go.com (14 May 2008). Retrieved 4 February 2011.