Igor Akinfeev with PFC CSKA Moscow in 2015
|Full name||Igor Vladimirovich Akinfeev|
|Date of birth||8 April 1986|
|Place of birth||Vidnoye, 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 11 March 2018.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 November 2017
Igor Vladimirovich Akinfeev (Russian: Игорь Владимирович Акинфеев, IPA: [ˈiɡərʲ vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ ɐkʲɪnˈfʲeɪf]; born 8 April 1986) is a Russian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for and captains both PFC CSKA Moscow and the Russia national team.
A full international for Russia since 2004, he has earned 100 caps and has been selected in their squads for three UEFA European Championships and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was named captain of Russia in March 2017, after the retirement of his predecessor Vasili Berezutski.
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.
Akinfeev made his professional debut for CSKA Moscow at the age of 16, saving a penalty kick and keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 win over FC Krylia Sovetov Samara. He broke into the starting line-up at the age of 17 in 2003, winning the club's first Russian Premier League in the same season. In 2005, CSKA won a treble of the Russian Premier League Russian Cup and UEFA Cup. During this season, Akinfeev played in all 19 of CSKA's European matches, including the 2005 UEFA Cup Final, which the Army Men won 3–1 against Sporting CP at their opponents' Estádio José Alvalade. In 2006, he won a third Russian league title and second Russian Cup with CSKA and was awarded the Zvezda trophy, for the year's best football player from the former Soviet Union.
In the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, Akinfeev went 362 minutes without conceding a goal until Ricardo Quaresma scored past him for FC Porto in his team's fifth group match. This began a record breaking run of 43 matches without keeping a clean sheet in the Champions League. His Champions League run without a clean sheet finally ended 11 years later, when CSKA Moscow beat AEK Athens 2–0 away in the qualifying stages of the Champions League on 25 July 2017; prior to the match, Akinfeev's last clean sheet in the Champions League had come against Arsenal in November 2006.
In May 2007, Akinfeev sustained a knee injury which kept him out for the remainder of the 2007 Russian Premier League season. CSKA ended the season third in the league behind city rivals Spartak Moscow and champions Zenit St. Petersburg. Akinfeev returned for the 2008 season, starting in all 30 league matches and winning the Russian Cup. In 2009, he again started all 30 Russian Premier League matches and kept a clean sheet in the 1–0 Russian Cup Final defeat of league winners Rubin Kazan.
In May 2011, Akinfeev captained CSKA to a fifth Russian Cup of his career. In 2012–13, CSKA won their first Russian Premier League title in seven years, with Akinfeev named Russian Footballer of the Year. Akinfeev also saved Yuri Zhirkov's kick in CSKA's penalty shootout win over Anzhi Makhachkala in the 2013 Russian Cup Final.
In 2013–14, Akinfeev won a fifth Russian Premier League title. On 14 May 2014, he overtook Lev Yashin as the goalkeeper with the third-highest number of clean sheets in Russian football. On 14 November 2015, he broke this clean sheet record with his 233rd career shutout in the Russia national football team's 1–0 win over Portugal.
Akinfeev made his debut for the Russian national team in a friendly match against Norway, Russia lost 2-3, 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.
He was selected as captain for Russia's 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup campaign on home soil and kept a clean sheet as the Russian's defeated New Zealand 2–0 in the tournament's opening match. On 21 June, in Russia's second group match, Akinfeev won his 100th cap for the national team.
Montenegro v Russia
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.
Style of play
Regarded as a promising talent in his youth, Akinfeev's precocious performances as a youngster earned him comparisons with former esteemed Russian goalkeepers Lev Yashin and Rinat Dasayev. In 2005, UEFA's Pavle Gognidze praised Akinfeev for being a "cool-headed" goalkeeper in spite of his young age, commenting: "On top of confidence, Akinfeev can also boast cat-like reflexes and excellent aerial ability while he is quick off his line to deal with crosses and through balls. Handy with his kicks, what makes him so remarkable for his age is his positional sense - so well developed that the ball seems drawn towards him." Former goalkeeper and CSKA's goalkeeping coach at the time, Vyacheslav Chanov, also added: "Igor is a real goalkeeper, it's in his character and attitude. Since the age of four he only dreamed of becoming a goalkeeper. He's very confident. I think he also tops all Russian goalkeepers in the length and precision of his goal kicks. With his right, he kicks 90 metres, with his left 80 metres."
|CSKA Moscow||2003||Premier League||13||0||2||0||1||0||2||0||18||0|
|Russia national team|
- CSKA Moscow
- Russian Premier League (6): 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16
- 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)
^[Note 1] This includes matches for Russian clubs and for the Russian national team.
- "Meet the Confed Cup captains". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 17 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
He [Igor Akinfeev] became Russian captain in March 2017 when Vasily Berezutskiy retired from the national team and is set to pass the 100-cap mark in the hosts' second match at the Confederations Cup.
- "Meet the Confed Cup captains". FIFA. 17 June 2017.
- "Акинфеев обогнал Дасаева по "сухим" матчам за российские команды". Sport.ru (in Russian). 14 November 2015.
- "Igor Akinfeev fast becoming the heir to the legendary Lev Yashin". Goal.com. 22 August 2013.
- "Igor Akinfeev". UEFA. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Sporting 1-3 CSKA Moscow". BBC Sport. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
- "CSKA Moskva 1-2 Porto". UEFA. 22 November 2006.
- "PSV through to last 16 after CSKA thriller". UEFA. 8 December 2015.
- "Igor Akinfeev keeps first Champions League clean sheet since 2006". ESPN FC. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- "Africans seal CSKA's Russian double". BBC. 1 June 2013.
- "Вратарь ПФК ЦСКА Акинфеев обошел Яшина по числу "сухих" матчей за карьеру". Rossiya Segodnya (in Russian). 14 May 2014.
- "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.
- "Cristiano Ronaldo header earns Portugal Confederations Cup win over Russia". The Guardian. 22 June 2017.
- "Russia keeper Akinfeev hit by flare in abandoned Montenegro match". BBC Sport. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Pavle Gognidze (18 May 2005). "The safest hands in Russia". UEFA.com. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
- "I.Akinfeev". Soccerway. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "Igor Akinfeev". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Igor Akinfeev". pfc-cska.com (in Russian). PFC CSKA Moscow. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
- 100 «сухих» матчей Игоря Акинфеева. Статистика Archived 19 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Указ Президента РФ от 12.06.2006 N 610 Archived 3 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
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