Māris Verpakovskis

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Māris Verpakovskis
Māris Verpakovskis.jpg
Verpakovskis playing for Latvia in 2011
Personal information
Full name Māris Verpakovskis
Date of birth (1979-10-15) 15 October 1979 (age 39)
Place of birth Liepāja, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Latvia)
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1996 FK Baltika 3 (0)
1996–2001 FK Liepājas Metalurgs 59 (10)
2001–2003 Skonto FC 77 (41)
2003–2011 Dynamo Kyiv 49 (11)
2007Getafe (loan) 13 (1)
2007–2008Hajduk Split (loan) 18 (5)
2008Celta de Vigo (loan) 8 (0)
2009–2011Ergotelis (loan) 47 (7)
2011–2013 FC Baku 27 (3)
2013–2014 Ergotelis 28 (5)
2014–2015 FK Liepāja 9 (1)
National team
1999–2014[1] Latvia 104 (29)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Māris Verpakovskis (born 15 October 1979), is a retired Latvian footballer who played as a striker. As of 2017, he is the only Latvian player to score at the end stage of a major international football tournament.

Club career[edit]

Latvia[edit]

Born in Liepāja, Latvia, Verpakovskis started his career in hometown club FK Liepājas Metalurgs, for which he played from 1995 till 2001 and scored 10 goals in 59 appearances. In 2001 Verpakovskis joined another Latvian side, Skonto Riga, where he scored 41 goals in 77 appearances. This time of period is known for being the peak of Verpakovskis's career. His excellent performance was being recognized by many top European clubs, and in the late 2003 he signed a contract with the Ukrainian top team Dynamo Kyiv.

Dynamo Kyiv[edit]

Soon after joining, Verpakovskis quickly earned his spot in starting 11, scoring 5 goals in 11 appearances. He scored his first UEFA Champions League goal against the Turkish club Trabzonspor, which helped Dynamo Kyiv qualify for the next round and later Verpakovskis also scored a goal against Real Madrid in the group stage, helping to earn a 2–2 draw in Kiev. Verpakovskis scored a total of 3 goals in the Champions League. After being honored as the Dynamo Kyiv's best player of 2004 by team fans his career slowly started to decline, majorly due to a conflict with Dynamo's former coach Yozhef Sabo.[2] From that time Verpakovkis had been loaned out for several seasons in a row, as his contract with Dynamo was still active.

Loans[edit]

In 2007 Verpakovskis made a promising move to Spain, after he was signed on a loan deal by Getafe.[3] However, due to a high competition for a place in the starting line-up, Verpakovskis didn't get a chance to show his full brilliance and scored 1 goal in 13 appearances. Right after returning from Spain, Verpakovskis was loaned to HNK Hajduk Split from Croatia, along with his Dynamo team-mates Florin Cernat and Goran Sablić.[4] Verpakovskis had a good season in Hajduk, scoring 5 goals in 18 appearances and played the key role in team's victories. In early 2008 he suffered an injury and did not play for the remaining time of his loan at HNK Hajduk Split. He made a short comeback to Kiev during the summer of 2008. Verpakovskis was on a loan term with Spanish side Celta de Vigo for the 2008–2009 season, playing 8 league matches and scoring no goals, as he couldn't prove himself there due to the limited game time. In 2009, Verpakovskis had to extend his contract with Dynamo Kiev for two years and the Greek Super League club Ergotelis signed him on a two-year loan.[5] During those 2 years Verpakovskis played 46 league games and scored 7 goals for the club. After the season, in 2011, his loan spell ended and he returned to Kiev.[6]

FK Baku[edit]

In 2011 Verpakovskis signed a contract with Azerbaijan Premier League club FC Baku for one season with an option to extend it for another one alongside his international team-mate Deniss Ivanovs.[7] In his first season there Māris scored 3 goals in 19 league matches and it was decided by the club's board that the contract would be extended for another season. Verpakovskis renewed his contract in June 2012.[8] The next season was not successful for the Latvian international as he saw himself lose the place in the starting eleven, making only 8 league appearances and scoring no goals. Despite scoring 2 goals and helping Baku grab a 3–1 victory over Sumgayit FK in the 1/8 finals of the Azerbaijan Cup on 28 November 2012,[9] Verpakovskis left the club in January 2013.[10]

Ergotelis[edit]

On 30 January 2013 rumours in the Greek and Latvian media appeared that Verpakovskis could rejoin the Greek Football League club Ergotelis.[11] This information was officially confirmed by the club and the player one day later - on 31 January 2013.[12] Verpakovskis made his return debut for the club on 20 February 2013 in a league match against Doxa Drama.[13] On 29 April 2013 Verpakovskis scored both goals in his club's 2–0 league victory over Olympiacos Volou.[14] Verpakovskis then scored in the last match of the season on 26 May 2013 to secure a 1–1 draw against Niki Volos. This goal and point secured Ergotelis a return to the Super League Greece.[15] Verpakovskis made his Super League return debut on 26 August 2013 in a 2–0 victory over Levadiakos.[16] He scored his first goal since return to the Superliga on 2 November 2013 in a 2–1 loss to P.A.O.K..[17] On 10 November 2013 Verpakovskis scored for the second consecutive Superliga match in a row, helping Ergotelis secure a 3–1 victory over Panthrakikos.[18] In mid-season, January 2014, Verpakovskis informed Ergotelis that he was planning to retire in order to return to Latvia and jointly participate in establishment of a new football club in his local city Liepāja after the city's former club Liepājas Metalurgs had been dissolved.[19] On 27 January 2014 he played his last match for Ergotelis as the club lost 1–0 to Panetolikos with Verpakovskis coming on as a late match substitute. After the game Verpakovskis was honoured by his teammates and the club's staff with the president Giannis Daskalakis handing him a special "Verpakovskis" jersey of Ergotelis and stating that "Ergotelis will be Verpakovskis' team for life and Heraklion is the place where Māris can always find his second family."[20] Over one and a half season in Greece Verpakovskis had participated in 28 league matches and scored 5 goals. In a later interview Verpakovskis revealed that he had wished to finish the season in Greece but due to the limited time for establishment of a club he was forced to return to Latvia as soon as possible.[21]

FK Liepāja[edit]

On 23 January 2014, the establishment of the newly founded Latvian Higher League club FK Liepāja was officially announced, and following his return from Greece Verpakovkis took office as the club's president.[22] Besides the administrative work he still retains an active player's status. During the 2014 season Verpakovskis appeared in 9 league matches and scored 1 goal.

International career[edit]

Verpakovskis made his debut for Latvia on 9 September 1999 in a 2–1 victory over Greece, scoring in that match.[23] He rose to international prominence as the highest goalscorer for Latvia in their successful UEFA Euro 2004 qualification campaign, with 6 goals in 10 matches. He scored once for Latvia in Euro 2004 and nearly scored what could have been a candidate for goal of the tournament against Germany, dribbling on a weaving run from the half way line and beating four German players. Verpakovskis is regarded as the most popular Latvian footballer having surpassed Marians Pahars as his country's most recognisable player. He is currently the leading all-time top goal scorer for Latvia, with 29 goals (As of 15 January 2015). Verpakovskis was Latvia's top scorer in FIFA World Cup 2006 qualification, UEFA Euro 2008 qualification, as well as the FIFA World Cup 2010 qualification.[24] On September 2013, Verpakovskis won his 100th cap for the Latvian national team in a 1–0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Greece.[25] On 29 May 2014 Verpakovskis played his last international match as Latvia beat Estonia in the semi-finals of the 2014 Baltic Cup. He was symbolically substituted by Edgars Gauračs just 13 minutes into the game and honoured by his teammates, national team's staff and supporters.[26] After his retirement the national team's manager Marians Pahars referred to Verpakovskis as "a national team legend".[27] All in all, internationally Verpakovskis has been capped 104 times for Latvia, scoring 29 goals. He is Latvia's all-time best scorer.

Personal life[edit]

Verpakovskis is the son of Ilmārs Verpakovskis, a Latvian footballer active from 1979 until 1996. Verpakovskis was managed by his father who was player-manager for FK Liepājas Metalurgs in 1994.[28] The Verpakovskis are the only father-son pair to both play for the Latvia national football team.[29]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Latvia League Cup League Cup Europe Total
1996 Baltika Liepāja Higher League 3 0
1997 Liepājas Metalurgs 6 0
1998 16 2
1999 21 5
2000 16 3
2001 Skonto 27 10
2002 25 9
2003 25 22
Ukraine League Ukrainian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2003–04 Dynamo Kyiv Premier League 11 5 2 1 0 0 13 6
2004–05 23 4 6 3 9 2 38 9
2005–06 9 1 3 2 1 0 13 3
2006–07 6 1 1 0 3 1 10 2
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
2006–07 Getafe La Liga 13 1 5 1 18 2
Croatia League Croatian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Hajduk Split Prva HNL 18 5 4 0 1 0 23 5
Spain League Copa del Rey League Cup Europe Total
2008–09 Celta de Vigo Segunda División 8 0 2 0 10 0
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
2009–10 Ergotelis Super League 22 3 2 1 24 4
2010–11 25 4 1 0 26 4
Azerbaijan League Azerbaijan Cup League Cup Europe Total
2011–12 Baku Premier League 19 3 3 0 22 3
2012–13 8 0 1 2 2 0 11 2
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
2012–13 Ergotelis Football League 18 3 18 3
2013–14 Super League 10 2 2 0 12 2
Latvia League Cup League Cup Europe Total
2014 Liepāja Higher League 9 1 1 2 10 3
2015 0 0 1 1 1 1
Latvia 148 51
Ukraine 47 10
Spain 21 1
Croatia 18 5
Greece 68 12
Azerbaijan 27 3
Total Club 329 82

International goals[edit]

Māris Verpakovskis: International Goals
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 9 June 1999 Athens, Greece  Greece 0 – 1 1–2 UEFA Euro 2000 Qualifying
2. 28 February 2001 Vaduz, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 0 – 2 0–2 Friendly
3. 3 July 2001 Riga, Latvia  Estonia 1 – 0 3–1 Baltic Cup 2001
4. 21 August 2002 Riga, Latvia  Belarus 1 – 1 2–4 Friendly
5. 7 June 2003 Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 0 – 1 3–1 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
6. 10 September 2003 Riga, Latvia  Hungary 1 – 0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
7. 10 September 2003 Riga, Latvia  Hungary 3 – 0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
8. 11 October 2003 Stockholm, Sweden  Sweden 0 – 1 0–1 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
9. 15 November 2003 Riga, Latvia  Turkey 1 – 0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
10. 19 November 2003 Istanbul, Turkey  Turkey 2 – 2 2–2 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
11. 31 March 2004 Celje, Slovenia  Slovenia 0 – 1 0–1 Friendly
12. 6 June 2004 Riga, Latvia  Azerbaijan 1 – 0 2–2 Friendly
13. 15 June 2004 Aveiro, Portugal  Czech Republic 0 – 1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2004
14. 8 September 2004 Luxembourg, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 0 – 1 3–4 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
15. 9 October 2004 Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 0 – 1 4–1 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
16. 17 November 2004 Vaduz, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 0 – 1 0–3 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
17. 30 March 2005 Riga, Latvia  Luxembourg 3 – 0 4–0 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
18. 30 March 2005 Riga, Latvia  Luxembourg 4 – 0 4–0 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
19. 7 October 2006 Riga, Latvia  Iceland 2 – 0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
20. 7 October 2006 Riga, Latvia  Iceland 3 – 0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
21. 13 October 2007 Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 1 – 3 2–4 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
22. 13 October 2007 Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 1 – 4 2–4 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
23. 17 November 2007 Riga, Latvia  Liechtenstein 2 – 1 4–1 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
24. 1 April 2009 Riga, Latvia  Luxembourg 2 – 0 2–0 FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying
25. 10 October 2009 Athens, Greece  Greece 1 – 1 5–2 FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying
26. 10 October 2009 Athens, Greece  Greece 1 – 2 5–2 FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying
27. 7 September 2010 Ta' Qali, Malta  Malta 0 – 2 0–2 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
28. 9 February 2011 Antalya, Turkey  Bolivia 0 – 1 1–2 Friendly
29. 12 October 2012 Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 2 – 1 2–1 FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Skonto FC

Dynamo Kyiv

FC Baku

FK Liepāja

International[edit]

Latvia

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maris Verpakovskis - Goals in International Matches". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. ^ Apollo – Sports: Verpakovskis – Kijevas «Dinamo» gada futbolists[permanent dead link]. Apollo.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  3. ^ Verpakovskis 'Getafe' spēlēs vismaz pusgadu (papildināts) – DELFI. Delfi.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  4. ^ Verpakovskis pagarina līgumu ar "Dynamo", bet spēlēs "Hajduk" – Futbols –. Sportacentrs.com (18 July 2007). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  5. ^ Verpakovskis nākamās divas sezonas spēlēs Grieķijas klubā ‘Ergotelis’ – DELFI. Sports.delfi.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  6. ^ Verpakovskis atstāj Hēraklejas "Ergotelis" – Leģionāri – Futbols –. Sportacentrs.com (31 May 2011). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  7. ^ Verpakovskis parakstījis līgumu ar Starkova "Baku" – Leģionāri – Futbols –. Sportacentrs.com (30 June 2011). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  8. ^ http://sportacentrs.com/futbols/legionari/06062012-verpakovskis_ari_nakamsezon_speles_baku
  9. ^ http://sportacentrs.com/futbols/legionari/28112012-verpakovskim_divi_varti_video
  10. ^ ""Baku" briest pārmaiņas, Verpakovskis un Ivanovs janvārī var zaudēt darbu". 5 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Verpakovskis varētu atgriezties "Ergotelis"". 30 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Oficiāli: Verpakovskis vienojies ar "Ergotelis"". 31 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Verpakovskis trāpa pa pārliktni, Lukjanovs atrādās Polijā". 20 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Verpakovskim divi vārti Grieķijā". Sportacentrs.com. 29 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Verpakovskim vārti, "Ergotelis" atgriežas Grieķijas Superlīgā". 26 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Futbols / Diena". www.diena.lv.
  17. ^ "Verpakovskim sezonas pirmie vārti Grieķijā, E.Višņakovam - astotie Polijā". 2 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Verpakovskis gūst vēl vienus vārtus un izprovocē noraidījumu". 10 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Sports / Diena". www.diena.lv.
  20. ^ "Verpakovskis iziet uz maiņu un atvadās no "Ergotelis"". 27 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Verpakovskis: vēlējos sezonu pabeigt Grieķijā, taču jādodas prom jau tagad".
  22. ^ "Papildināts (16:48) – Virslīgā spēlēs FK "Liepāja"".
  23. ^ Lff: Māris Verpakovskis. Lff.lv (15 October 1979). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  25. ^ "Verpakovskis proud of 100 for Latvia". FIFA. 16 October 2013.
  26. ^ "Verpakovskis noslēdz krāšņo karjeru Latvijas izlasē". nra.lv.
  27. ^ "Pahars: "Verpakovskis ir izlases leģenda"". 30 May 2014.
  28. ^ "Марис Верпаковскис: «Хочешь играть в «основе» - будь лучшим в тренировках» - ПРО ФУТБОЛ". www.profootball.ua.
  29. ^ "Verpakovskis: Vislabākais veids, kā noslēgt karjeru, ir mājās". Sports.
  30. ^ Eiropas cilvēks Latvijā – Māris Verpakovskis. Diena.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  31. ^ "Verpakovskis līdzjutēju aptaujā atzīts par gada labāko Kijevas "Dinamo" futbolistu". Sports.

External links[edit]