|Full name||Aleksandrs Čekulajevs|
|Date of birth||10 September 1985|
|Place of birth||Riga, Latvian SSR, USSR
(now Republic of Latvia)
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2007–2008||→ FK Auda (loan)||30||(51)|
|2011–2012||JK Narva Trans||35||(46)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Aleksandrs Čekulajevs (born 10 September 1985 in Riga) is an Latvian former football player. Čekulajevs is widely famous for his goal scoring abilities. Scoring 46 goals in the 2011 Meistriliiga season he was named the world's top scorer of the year by IFFHS.
Born in Riga, Čekulajevs started playing football in 1996. He spent his youth years training with FK Auda, FK Viola, JFK Olimps and FK Auda yet again. In 2006 the youngster was spotted by the Latvian Higher League club FK Rīga and Čekulajevs signed his first professional contract. He played 6 matches there, scoring 1 goal but soon the club hit financial difficulties and Čekulajevs' contract that should have kept him at the club until 2008 was unofficially broken. FK Jūrmala-VV were keen on signing him, but, even though the contract with FK Rīga didn't exist anymore, the club wanted to receive a transfer fee. Furthermore, FK Rīga was in debts with its players and hadn't paid Čekulajevs his wage for more than 3 months. FK Rīga went bankrupt in 2008.
In 2007 Čekulajevs joined his former youth years' club FK Auda on loan from FK Rīga, playing in the Latvian First League. Soon he became a first eleven player and wowed everyone with his scoring abilities, netting 51 goal in 30 league matches. He was not only named the top scorer of the season, but also beat the league's scoring record of all time set by Igors Kirilovs in 2002 with 47 goals in one season. He was also named the best player of the Latvian First League in 2007.
First clubs abroad
After such a great performance Čekulajevs joined FK Jūrmala-VV in 2008. Playing 21 match there, he scored 3 goals and couldn't settle at the club. Soon he left the team, going abroad for the first time in his career and joining FK Náchod-Deštné in the Czech Fourth Division. During one season there he scored 11 goals in 18 matches and came back to FK Jūrmala-VV in 2009. He started the 2009 Latvian Higher League season with them, but after 6 matches without scoring any goals, left for Víkingur Ólafsvík, playing in the Icelandic 2. deild karla. Čekulajevs scored 10 goals in 17 matches for the club, helping his team win the championship.
JK Narva Trans
After a successful season in Iceland Čekulajevs was signed by the Estonian Meistriliiga club JK Narva Trans. Soon after joining he found himself as a first eleven player, capable of scoring in almost every match he played. By the end of the season, he had scored 46 goals in 35 appearances, not only being the top scorer of his team and the league, but also setting a new goalscoring record for the division. In June 2012 he was named the third top scorer in Europe by the UEFA league point system, thanks to his 46 goals, coming after Cristiano Ronaldo (46) and Lionel Messi (50). After his great performance, various European clubs showed their interest in signing Čekulajevs. During the winter transfer period he went on trials with the Turkish Süper Lig club Trabzonspor, 2. Fußball-Bundesliga club MSV Duisburg and the Polish Ekstraklasa team Lechia Gdańsk. Although scoring record 46 goals, Estonian football pundits and coaches thought that his achievement would have been much less remarkable if the league had not been represented by the worst team - FC Ajax Lasnamäe, who conceded in total of 192 goals in 36 matches (which was only 6 goals short of worst result in European top tiers). Čekulajevs scored 18 of his goals against bottom-finished Ajax.
Čekulajevs didn't join any of the previously mentioned teams, signing a contract with the Maltese Premier League champions Valletta F.C. on February 8, 2012. He scored a goal on his debut for the club. All in all Čekulajevs scored 4 goals in 6 matches for the club, later being put on the bench for unexplained reasons. In May 2012 Čekulajevs broke his contract with the club, stating that he wasn't happy with the work of his agent.
On July 3, 2012, Čekulajevs moved to the Hungarian Nemzeti Bajnokság I, as a free agent signing a contract with Lombard-Pápa TFC. On 1 January 2013, he was released from Lombard-Pápa TFC, having played only four league matches for the club.
TTM Lopburi and Zejtun Corinthians
On 8 March 2013, it was announced that Čekulajevs had moved to Thai Division 1 side TTM Lopburi on a free transfer, signing a one-year contract. On 1 July 2013, after the end of the contract, he moved to the Maltese First Division side Zejtun Corinthians on a free transfer, signing a contract till the end of the season.
- Latvian First League Top Scorer 2007
- 2. deild karla champion 2010
- Meistriliiga Top Scorer 2011
- IFFHS World's Top Scorer of the Year 2011
- Genuine Football Fan (2012-01-13). "The story of Aleksandrs Cekulajevs | Indesit Football – Europe". Football.indesit.com. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
- "Latvijas futbolists Čekulajevs apsteidz Ronaldu un Mesi, kļūstot par labāko snaiperi pasaulē". Kasjauns.lv. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Destin de golgeter. După 46 de goluri, un transfer în Malta". Istoria Fotbalului by Alex Buturugeanu. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "FK "Rīga" futbolisti izsaka klubam finansiālās pretenzijas | Apollo". Apollo.lv. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Sāk futbola kluba "Rīga" bankrotu | Apollo". Apollo.lv. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "LFF: Aleksandrs Čekulājevs - 51 gūtie vārti Traffic Pirmās līgas čempionatā". Lff.lv. 2012-12-22. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "LFF paziņo labākos – Futbols –". Sportacentrs.com. 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- ESM Golden Shoe latest standings Posted 348 days ago Tweet (2012-01-13). "ESM Golden Shoe latest standings". World Soccer. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "epa - european pressphoto agency: El estonio Cekulajevs, por delante de Ronaldo y Messi como mejor goleador europeo". Google.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- TVNET. "TVNET :: Futbols - Čekulajevs uz pārbaudes laiku pievienojās "Trabzonspor"". Tvnet.lv. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Čekulajevs uz pārbaudes laiku Vācijas 2.Bundeslīgas klubā "Duisburg" – Leģionāri – Futbols –". Sportacentrs.com. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Čekulajevs dodas uz pārbaudi poļu "Lechia" – Leģionāri – Futbols –". Sportacentrs.com. 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Rekordimees Čekulajevs Hohlov-Simsonile muljet ei avaldanud". sport.err.ee. 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- "Lasnamäe Ajax jäi Euroopa rekordist kuue värava kaugusele". sport.err.ee. 2011-11-09. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- "Latvijas snaiperis Čekulajevs pārceļas uz Maltu". Diena.lv. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Čekulajevs Maltā debitē ar gūtiem vārtiem". Sarauj.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Čekulajevs lauž līgumu Maltā, Vaņins ielaiž trīs Šveicē – Leģionāri – Futbols –". Sportacentrs.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Čekulajevs neapmierināts ar nonākšanu Maltas klubā | Apollo". Apollo.lv. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Čekulajevs pārceļas uz Ungāriju – Leģionāri – Futbols –". Sportacentrs.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- Aleksandrs Čekulajevs profile at Soccerway
- performances Statistics 2001–2009
- Statistics performances in Iceland
- Statistics performances in Estonia
- Aleksandrs Čekulajevs profile at Soccerway