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Andrei Arshavin Russia kit
Andrei Arshavin started his youth career at Zenit St. Petersburg where he progressed through the academy before breaking through to the first team at the age of 19. In 2000, he made his debut an Intertoto Cup tie against Bradford. The same season saw him crowned as the Russian Premier League Player of the Season due to his ability to play in a variety of different roles. For a number of years, Arshavin’s career with Zenit was solid but unspectacular. However, it was in 2007 that Arshavin’s talents were noticed throughout Europe as he became the star of the side in their title success, scoring 11 goals and providing 11 assists along the way. He soon became one of the most wanted players outside of the big leagues in 2008 as he helped guide Zenit to victory in the UEFA Cup final over Rangers where he was named Man of the Match. In the October 2008, he was nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award confirming his rise to stardom relatively late in his career.
Despite playing the first couple of months of the 2008/09 season for Zenit, he eventually moved to Arsenal during the Premier League’s January transfer window on deadline day. Arshavin made an instant impression at Arsenal scoring his first goal in mid March and adapting to the total football style of the club. However, it was 21st April 2009 that endeared Arshavin to Arsenal’s supporters as he scored four goals in the thrilling 4-4 draw that severely dented Liverpool’s title hopes. Along with other impressive performances, he was crowned the Premier League Player of the Month for April. Surprisingly he came second in Arsenal’s Player of the Season vote despite him playing less than half of the season.
Arshavin made his debut for the Russian national team in 2002 and has managed fifteen goals in 45 games to date. Impressively, he has scored on a consistent basis and in every competition that Russia have played in since his debut. However, it was the 2008 European Championships that really confirmed Arshavin’s status as a top European player. Although he was unable to play the first two matches due to suspension, he announced his return with a goal and an assist in the final group match victory against Sweden. In the quarter finals against the favourite Holland, Arshavin repeated the feat in extra time with an assist and a key goal to secure a fantastic 3-1 victory. Unfortunately, the midfielder could not repeat his heroics in the semi finals as Russia exited the competition to eventual winners Spain.
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