Alexey Smertin

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Alexei Smertin
Aleksey Smertin at a press conference
Personal information
Full name Aleksey Gennadyevich Smertin
Date of birth (1975-05-01) 1 May 1975 (age 44)
Place of birth Barnaul, RSFSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1993 Dinamo Barnaul 42 (2)
1994–1997 Zarya Leninsk-Kuznetsky 124 (13)
1997–1998 Uralan Elista 49 (3)
1999–2000 Lokomotiv Moscow 39 (7)
2000–2003 Bordeaux 85 (2)
2003–2006 Chelsea 16 (0)
2003–2004Portsmouth (loan) 26 (0)
2005–2006Charlton Athletic (loan) 18 (0)
2006 Dynamo Moscow 22 (0)
2007–2008 Fulham 22 (0)
Total 443 (27)
National team
1998–2006[1] Russia 55 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Aleksey Gennadyevich Smertin (Russian: Алексе́й Генна́дьевич Сме́ртин, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksʲej ɡʲɪnˈnadʲɪvʲɪtɕ ˈsʲmʲertʲɪn]; born 1 May 1975) is a Russian football official and a former player. He was a fairly versatile player and was able to play in defence as well as midfield. He works in the Russian Football Union in two positions - "director of regional policies and international relations" and "anti-discrimination and anti-racism officer".

He played for clubs in Russia, France and England. Smertin retired from professional football in 2008 after having his contract with Fulham terminated and discovering a new career in politics.

He was the captain of the Russian national team, and earned 55 caps from 1998 to 2006, representing the nation at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2004.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

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[edit]

Claudio Ranieri brought Smertin to Chelsea from Bordeaux in August 2003 for £3.45m,[2][3] before loaning him out to Portsmouth for the 2003–04 season.[4] 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 Makelele, 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.[5]

He was ultimately deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and was loaned out to Charlton Athletic for the 2005–06 season.[6] 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.[7]

Dynamo Moscow[edit]

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.[8] 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.[9]

International career[edit]

Smertin made his debut for Russia in 1998 in a 1–0 defeat against Iceland.[10] He was capped 55 times for Russia, and was selected for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He was made captain in June 2004, and was succeeded in that role by Andrey Arshavin.

Post-playing activities[edit]

In July 2015, Smertin was an assistant at the draw for 2018 World Cup qualification in St Petersburg.[11]

On 21 February 2017 he was named Russian Football Union anti-racism and discrimination inspector ahead of the 2018 World Cup.[12] In October 2018, he was appointed director of regional policies and international relations of the Russian Football Union (while keeping his anti-racism position). At the same time he left FC Dynamo Moscow advisor position he held up to that point.[13]


Lokomotiv Moscow




Outside football[edit]

Smertin is married to fellow Siberian Larisa, and also has a son.[15] 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.[16]


  1. ^ "Alexei Gennadyevich Smertin - International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Chelsea bag Smertin". BBC. 25 August 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Chelsea seal Smertin deal". Sky Sports. 25 August 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Smertin seals Pompey loan deal". BBC. 27 August 2003. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Chelsea 3–1 Porto". BBC Sport. 29 September 2004. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Charlton snap up Smertin on loan". BBC. 15 July 2005. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  7. ^ Smertin completes move to Moscow BBC Sport, 15 March 2006, Retrieved 14 October 2007
  8. ^ Fulham complete Smertin signing BBC Sport Online, 27 January 2006, Retrieved 14 October 2007
  10. ^ "Alexei Smertin" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Hulk pulls out of World Cup qualifying draw in St Petersburg". Sky Sports. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Alexei Smertin lands role as head of racism investigations ahead of the 2018 World Cup... two years after declaring 'no racism exists in Russia'". Daily Mail. 21 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Алексей Смертин покидает "Динамо"". FC Dynamo Moscow. 11 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Alexei Smertin: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Alexei Smertin: The football explorer for whom life is an open book". The Independent. UK. 31 October 2004. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  16. ^ Ex-Chelsea star Smertin turns to politics

External links[edit]