Igor Akinfeev, football player: biography, personal life, sporting achievements
At a time when eighteen-year-old Iker Casillas first appeared on a green lawn to the sounds of the Champions League anthem, he was almost a national hero in Spain. Young people everywhere have a road, as they say, and the Spanish goalkeeper then broke the tournament age record in his role. Hardly anyone could have imagined that after only five years he would “ripen” his hero in football Russia. CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made his debut in the main tournament of the Old World at the same age as Casillas, but the first European Cup experience for the young goalkeeper came out lumpy. He missed goals twice, but left a good impression of himself.
Igor Akinfeev: biography and facts of life
The future guard of the gates of Moscow CSKA was born in April 1986 in Vidno near Moscow. In the same place, the boy spent all his childhood together with his parents and elder brother Eugene.
Seeing how much the boy is tied to the ball game, Vladimir Vasilyevich Akinfeev gave his youngest son to the CSKA school for children and youth, where he was already identified at the second training session. Igor worked for the PFC CSKA Junior School for eleven years, after which he made his debut for the main army team. At that time, the guy was only 16 years old, and he became the youngest goalkeeper of the Russian Premier League.
In the world of football there are not so many examples of boundless loyalty to the club and, as they say, the emblem kept under the heart. These players were Paolo Maldini and Francesco Totti, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs. So far, Igor Akinfeev belongs to this cohort. The biography of his performances for CSKA has been going on for 15 years now, and the goalkeeper of Muscovites has every chance to repeat the success of the great and powerful of this world.
CSKA goalkeeper is not only a famous football player. Igor Vladimirovich Akinfeev is the author of a book called “100 penalties from readers”, in whose pages the goalkeeper of the capital club answers questions from fans. In addition, Igor is a graduate of the Moscow State Academy of Physical Education.
Personal life of Igor Akinfeev
CSKA goalkeeper is married to a girl named Ekaterina Gerun, he and Igor are of the same age. Catherine is from Kiev. The couple have two children: Daniel (2014) and Evangelina (2015). The family of Igor Akinfeev lives in Moscow.
Since childhood, Akinfeev is a fan of the Russian group “Hands Up”. In 2009, he became the godfather of the daughter of the main soloist of the pop group.
On the eve of the new 2003 football season, the silver medalist of the championship went to a training camp in Israel. Among other potential newcomers to the Promised Land, Igor Akinfeev, quite young, but already tempered in the fights of the youth squadron, has arrived. The footballer, before the start of the season, with his confident game managed to oust another potentially strong goalkeeper, Benjamin Mandrykin, from the main team, and in March of the same year he made his debut in adult football. Akinfeev was forced to replace in the final of the Russian Cup against the St. Petersburg “Zenith” and played the entire time at zero, leaving his game only positive impressions from both ordinary fans and football experts. In total, in the 2003 season, the young goalkeeper spent thirteen matches in the first team and helped the team win the gold medals of the championship.He made his debut Akinfeev that season and in European competition, but this time the first pancake came out in a lump - “CSKA” in all respects lost to the modest Macedonian “Vardar” and left the tournament.
The first official match in 2004 again brought another trophy - CSKA with Akinfeev at the gate in the Super Bowl match proved to be stronger than another Moscow team and its principal rival - Spartak. That season, Igor became the undisputed first number in the team and invariably appeared on the field in the first team. However, the goalkeeper still had to miss several matches. During the scuffle during the match with “Wings of the Soviets” Akinfeev was disqualified and in the next four games he played in a duplicate composition. At the end of the season CSKA took second place in the championship.
Triumph in the UEFA Cup
The campaign for the second-largest European Cup CSKA Moscow began in autumn 2004 as part of the Champions League. The capital team took the third place in the group, and this meant that in the spring he would continue to fight for the UEFA Cup. In the playoffs, the Russians were confronted by "Lille", "Auxerre" and "Parma", and in the final confrontation with the score 2-1 Portuguese Sportlining was thrown.In May 2005, Igor Akinfeev and CSKA captain Sergey Ignashevich raised the gold cup of the tournament over their heads.
After the triumph in the UEFA Cup, and three months later in the Super Bowl, the army goalkeeper attracted the attention of the top clubs of the European championships. A serious interest in the person Akinfeev showed London “Arsenal”, but in the end the goalkeeper chose the option with the continuation of a career in CSKA. Igor spent the successful season of 2006, after which he was injured and was out of action until almost the end of the next football year.
In 2008, the army club extended the contract with its first number (in fact, Akinfeev acts under the number "35", but in the team it is he who is considered the main goalkeeper), but he was not slow to repay a decent game and new trophies. Over the next seven years, CSKA with its permanent goalkeeper three times became the champion of Russia. Four more times, the army team raised the National Cup over their heads and three times the Super Bowl. Igor Akinfeev himself during this time 5 times became the owner of the prize of Lev Yashin, which is annually awarded to the best goalkeeper of the season.
In the season 2016-2017. CSKA goalkeeper broke several game records of the famousthe last Soviet goalkeeper Rinat Dasaev and came to clean first place in the number of “dry matches” in the championships of Russia. The first issue of the army team has long been a veteran of the club, but by goalkeeper standards, it is still possible to postpone the completion of a 5-6 year career. This means that the tandem “Igor Akinfeev - CSKA” has every chance to jointly reach new heights in Russian and European football.
In the national team
The goalkeeper of the “red-blue” got into the main football team of Russia already during his first season in professional sports. In 2003, Akinfeev received a call for the national team's autumn games, but did not make his debut directly on the field. The first match in the red T-shirt, Igor spent, barely 18 years old. That pancake came out lumpy for a young goalkeeper, his team lost to the national team of Norway with a score of 3-2. In the summer of the same year, Akinfeev got into Russia's bid for Euro 2004, but he failed to play at the tournament.
At Euro 2008, the goalkeeper of the army team went already as the first number, although he missed part of the qualifying round due to injury. In those matches for the national team, he was replaced by former partner in CSKA Vladimir Gabulov.In the final part of the tournament, Igor Akinfeev spent five matches in which he missed eight times. Interestingly, five of the eight goals conceded fell on the confrontation with the Spanish national team: four - in the first match of the group round, another - in the semifinals of the championship. The Russian national team owes a high place at Euro-2008 to the game of its main goalkeeper.
The selection for the European Championship in 2012 Akinfeev began not very confident. Sometimes he made mistakes where it was not necessary to make them (for example, in a duel against the Slovak national team) and vice versa, he acted confidently, literally wresting a victory for his country (Russia - Macedonia). On the eve of Euro 2012, Igor managed to recover from a fairly severe injury, but he went to the forum only as a reservist, Vyacheslav Malafeev.
In the fall of 2012, the Russian national team began active preparations for the World Cup, which was to be held in 2014 in Brazil. Igor Akinfeev was marked by another “dry” match in a duel with Portugal, and this game was the 400th goalkeeper in the career. After just a few days, the goalkeeper set two new records in the national team: in the length of the “dry” series and in the number of matches without missing goals.
The Russian national team successfully overcame their qualifications and in the summer of 2014 went to Brazil for the World Cup. In the first match, Akinfeev made a serious mistake, which cost his team points in a match against South Korea. The goalkeeper himself after the match took the blame. The second match in the group with the national team of Belgium ended with a defeat for the tricolors. The third standoff of the group round with the national team of Algeria for the Russians no longer mattered in terms of the struggle to leave the group, but the Russian goalkeeper made a mistake in it, and the match ended in a draw.
In 2015, Igor Akinfeev was injured during the duel of his national team with the team of Montenegro - a flare from a guest stand was hit by the goalkeeper. According to the results of that match, the Montenegrin team was awarded a 0: 3 defeat, and the Russian goalkeeper soon recovered.
The next international forum for the Russian team and Igor Akinfeev was the European Championship 2016. Tricolor, thanks to a goal by Berezutsky, snatched a draw from the favorite of the group - England. Then no one could have imagined that this point would remain the only one for the Russians: Russia in the remaining confrontations lost both the Slovak national team and much more modest Wales. Goalkeeper Russians missed six goals in the tournament.
Tricolor goalkeeper, member of the Igor Netto Club, today he remains the absolute leader in the number of matches for the national team among his players. In 2017, Igor Akinfeev was appointed captain of the Russian national team.
Statistics in modern sports are often of interest, no less important than the battles on the green lawn or, for example, on the basketball court. CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was no exception. Records of the Russian goalkeeper again forced the society to remember Lev Yashin and his Golden Ball.
We have already said that Akinfeev is the youngest debutant in the goalkeeper position, and for 22 years and 117 days there was another interesting achievement - the football player became the youngest among goalkeepers who played a hundred “dry” matches. By the way, a similar achievement resigned to Igor and at around two hundred matches.
Another interesting record for CSKA goalkeeper is nine matches in the Premier League in a row without goals conceded. A similar record in the national team also belongs to the goalkeeper of the army club. As for CSKA, Igor Akinfeev spent the most matches for him in the history of the team.
However, there is also a fly in the ointment in this barrel with honey. The army club is the creator of the anti-record in the Champions League, to which the team goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is directly related. Dry matches in the most prestigious European tournament, dating back to November 2006, and since then, the army goalkeeper missed 84 goals in 43 games in a row. Ironically, in 2011, CSKA held two “dry” matches in the Champions League, but in both of them, the gates of the army team were defended by Akinfeev’s replacement - Vladimir Gabulov.
Another unpleasant achievement of the Russian goalkeeper is also associated with the Champions League. He became the first goalkeeper in the history of the tournament, who hit his own goal twice. Akinfeev was noted for owning goals in 2015 and in 2016 against Wolfsburg and English Tottenham, respectively.
Style of play
Igor Akinfeev’s height is 186 centimeters, weight is 82 kilograms. Perhaps, for the modern goalkeeper, this is an ideal anthropometry, which allows you to feel confident both on the goal line and when playing at exits. By and large, the goalkeeper of CSKA is considered as such, manifesting himself equally qualitatively in various aspects of the game at the gate.
Akinfeev is sometimes compared with Lev Yashin and, I must say, such a comparison has the right to life. And let Igor not yet been nominated for the Golden Ball, but you can confidently say that this is the best Russian goalkeeper of our time.
Apart from the time spent in the youth team, the army goalkeeper spends his fifteenth season in the capital club. The statistics of Igor Akinfeev are impressive: in all tournaments, the goalkeeper of CSKA played in 519 fights, in which he missed 449 goals (0.87 per game). The red-blue goalkeeper is a very correct player, for fifteen years he has collected only 28 yellow cards and two direct deletions.
Personal awards goalkeeper
Over the course of his career, Akinfeev was recognized as the best goalkeeper of the year eight times.
In 2006, the goalkeeper of CSKA received a state award - the Order of Friendship and was awarded the title of the best young guard of the gate according to the authoritative Italian edition Tuttosport.
After the end of the season 2012-2013. He was recognized as the best player in the Russian Premier League by online voting, in which fans from all over the country took part.
At the end of the season 2015-2016.together with a Hungarian football veteran Gabor Kiray, he received the UEFA award in the nomination “Rescue of the Season”.
In 2016, Akinfeev Igor is the annual prize of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper - “Football Gentleman of the Year.”
According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, CSKA goalkeeper ranks 15th in the list of goalkeepers of the new century.