Ģirts Karlsons

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Ģirts Karlsons
Personal information
Full name Ģirts Karlsons
Date of birth (1981-06-07) 7 June 1981 (age 37)
Place of birth Liepāja, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Republic of Latvia)
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 21
Youth career
Liepājas Metalurgs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2003 Liepājas Metalurgs 96 (40)
2004 Shinnik Yaroslavl 8 (0)
2005 Venta 6 (0)
2005–2007 Liepājas Metalurgs 65 (34)
2008 De Graafschap 5 (0)
2008–2009 Liepājas Metalurgs 32 (24)
2009–2012 Inter Baku 73 (36)
2012–2013 Liepājas Metalurgs 19 (9)
2013 Pro Duta 20 (15)
2014 Neman Grodno 9 (1)
2014–2017 Ventspils 75 (35)
2017– Liepāja 11 (4)
National team
2003– Latvia 51 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 November 2017 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 2017-21-09 (UTC)

Ģirts Karlsons (born 7 June 1981 in Liepāja) is a Latvian football forward, who is currently playing for the Latvian Higher League club FK Liepāja.

Club career[edit]

As a youth player Karlsons played for his local club FK Liepājas Metalurgs, being taken to the first team in 1998, at the age of 17. He spent the next six seasons with the club, becoming the second top scorer of the Latvian Higher League in 2003 with 26 goals, completing two hat-tricks during the season.[1] All in all he played 96 matches for his local club, scoring 40 goals. After these bright appearances he had impressed clubs abroad, and in January 2004 Karlsons went on a month-long trial with the Russian Premier League club Shinnik Yaroslavl. Afterwards he signed a three-year contract with them.[2] However, his spell there wasn't as successful as expected and was very short. After just one season, during which he played only 8 league matches without scoring goals, Karlsons returned to the Latvian Higher League, signing with the newly promoted, ambitious club Venta Kuldiga in 2005.[3] However, the club struggled financially and after just five matches had to let some of their players go, including Karlsons,[4] who returned to his hometown club, Liepājas Metalurgs later that year. He spent the next three seasons there, once again showing great performance. He scored a hat-trick in the 2005 season, and he also scored in the Latvian Cup final on 25 September 2005, which Metalurgs lost 2–1 to Venta Kuldīga.[5] Another hat-trick came in the 2006 season, which Karlsons finished as the second top scorer with 14 goals under his belt. In the Latvian Cup he scored a hat-trick in the 6–1 semi-final victory over Dižvanagi Rēzekne and then scored in the final, which the club won 2–1 over Skonto Riga.[6] In December 2006 Karlsons was named the runner-up of the Latvian Player of the Year Award by the Latvian Football Federation behind the winner Aleksandrs Koļinko, who that time was the first-choice keeper for Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League.[7] His contract with Metalurgs expired in July 2007 and it was not renewed. Player was then linked with the English Championship club Bristol City, before going on trial with Southampton.[8] In January 2008 he had a two-day trial with Wolverhampton Wanderers.[9] Karlsons then had trials in the Netherlands with Zwolle and De Graafschap, [10] and on 8 February 2008 he signed for De Graafschap, which that time competed in the Dutch Eredivisie.[11] Karlsons returned to Liepājas Metalurgs in the middle of 2008, because of limited game time. After some impressive matches there he attracted interest from several European clubs, but finally settled down in Azerbaijan, signing a contract with Inter Baku in the summer of 2009.[12] The next season, he became the champion of Azerbaijan. He scored 8 goals in 19 matches for Inter in his first season there, but the next two weren't that successful anymore and in July 2012 he was released. In August 2012 Karlsons once again returned to Liepājas Metalurgs.[13] The 2012 season saw Karlsons scoring 9 goals in 19 league matches. Even though Metalurgs expressed their interest to keep him at the club, Karlsons chose to continue his career abroad, joining the Indonesian Premier League club Pro Duta in March 2013.[14] On 14 April 2013 he scored his first two goals in a 3-0 league victory over Bontang.[15] Throughout the season Karlsons scored 15 league goals for the club, completing two hat-tricks.[16] He left Pro Duta at the end of his contract in November 2013. In February 2014 Karlsons went on trial with the Belarusian Premier League club Neman Grodno alongside his international fellow Igors Tarasovs and signed a contract with the club on 26 February 2014.[17] He scored his first Belarusian Premier League goal in a 3-2 victory over Dnepr Mogilev on 19 April 2014.[18] Karlsons left Neman on 9 June 2014 due to family reasons and returned to Latvia.[19] On 3 July 2014 Karlsons signed a contract with the Latvian Higher League title holders FK Ventspils.[20] He helped the club retain the title for the second year in a row.[21]

International career[edit]

Karlsons played for the Latvia-U21.[22] Karlsons made his first appearance for Latvia national team on 20 December 2003 as a second-half substitute against Kuwait in Cyprus, which Latvia lost 2–0.[23] On 28 December 2005 he scored in Latvia's 2–1 win over Oman national football team to reach the final of the King's Cup in Thailand.[24] Latvia won the cup, beating Korea DPR 2–1 in the final on 30 December with Karlsons again scoring.[25] Currently Karlsons has 50 international caps under his belt, having scored 9 goals.[26] He played in an international game on 9 February 2011, a 2-1 victory in a friendly match against Bolivia, coming on as a late substitute, which would be his last match for the national team until late 2016.[27] Karlsons was recalled to the national team in the autumn of 2016, earning his 50th cap on 7 October 2016 after coming on as a substitute in the 0:2 home loss against the Faroe Islands in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.[28]


Career statistics[edit]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 26 December 2005 Surakul Stadium, Phuket, Thailand  North Korea 1–1 Drew 2005 King's Cup
2. 28 December 2005 Surakul Stadium, Phuket, Thailand  Oman 1–2 Won 2005 King's Cup
3. 30 December 2005 Surakul Stadium, Phuket, Thailand  North Korea 1–2 Won 2005 King's Cup
4. 7 October 2006 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia  Iceland 4–0 Won Euro 2008 qual.
5. 17 November 2007 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia  Liechtenstein 4–1 Won Euro 2008 qual.
6. 6 February 2008 Boris Paichadze National Stadium, Tbilisi, Georgia  Georgia 1–3 Won Friendly
7. 6 September 2008 Sheriff Stadium, Tiraspol, Moldova  Moldova 1–2 Won 2010 World Cup qual.
8. 28 March 2009 Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 0–4 Won 2010 World Cup qual.
9. 3 March 2010 Estádio 11 de Novembro, Luanda, Angola  Angola 1–1 Drew Friendly
Correct as of 7 October 2015[29]


  1. ^ "Latvia 2003". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2004-10-01. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  2. ^ "Shinnik challenge for Latvian striker". UEFA. 2004-04-02. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  3. ^ "Karlsons quits Russia for Venta". UEFA. 2005-02-10. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  4. ^ "Venta enter the twilight zone". UEFA. 2005-05-13. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  5. ^ "Latvia 2005". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2006-03-04. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  6. ^ "Latvia 2006". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2007-03-21. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  7. ^ "Kolinko given Latvian honour". UEFA. 2006-12-04. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  8. ^ "Wolves take Latvian on trial". Express & Star. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  9. ^ "Wolves trial Latvian striker: McCarthy takes a closer look at Karlsons". Sky Sports. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  10. ^ "FC Zwolle test opnieuw aanvaller uit Letland" (in Dutch). FC Zwolle. 2008-02-09. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  11. ^ "Spits Karlsons naar De Graafschap" (in Dutch). Sp!ts. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-09.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Karlsons spēlēs Baku "Inter" - liepajniekiem.lv". 3 August 2009.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
  14. ^ "Čekulajevs karjeru turpinās Taizemē, Karlsons - Indonēzijā". Sportacentrs.com.
  15. ^ "Indonesia - Pro Duta FC - Results - Futbol24".
  16. ^ "Latvia - G. Karlsons - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway".
  17. ^ "Karlsons paliks "Neman" komandā - liepajniekiem.lv". 26 February 2014.
  18. ^ "Maksimenko vārti Skotijas Premjerlīgā, mūsējie sit golus arī Polijā un Baltkrievijā". Sportacentrs.com.
  19. ^ "Karlsons pametis Grodņas "Neman"". Sportacentrs.com.
  20. ^ ""Ventspils" pastiprina sastāvu ar Karlsonu". Sportacentrs.com.
  21. ^ "FK "Ventspils" priekšlaicīgi kļūst par seškārtējiem Latvijas čempioniem". Latvijas Futbola federācija.
  22. ^ "Late strike saves Sweden". UEFA. 2003-10-10. Retrieved 2008-02-09.[dead link]
  23. ^ "New-look Latvia defeated". UEFA. 2003-12-20. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  24. ^ "Last-gasp Latvia earn final date". UEFA. 2005-12-28. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  25. ^ "Latvia claim royal reward". UEFA. 2005-12-30. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  26. ^ "Latvijas futbola federācija". Archived from the original on 12 February 2008.
  27. ^ "Latvijas futbola federācija".
  28. ^ "Latvia NT. vs. Faroe Islands NT 0:2". flashscore.com. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Football PLAYER: Ģirts Karlsons". eu-football.info. Retrieved 7 October 2015.

External links[edit]