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One to Watch - Yuri Zhirkov

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With striker Daniel Sturridge missing through injury, Vital QPR looks at another potent threat, Russian international Yuri Zhirkov.

Name: Yuri Valentinovich Zhirkov

Date of Birth: 20-08-1983 (Tambov, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union)

Former Clubs: Spartak Tambov, CSKA Moscow

Appearances (Goals): 213 (41)

The young winger started out life at local club Spartak Tambov where he impressed to score 26 goals in 74 games from wide areas.

This two year professional spell with Tambov was enough for Russian giants CSKA Moscow to come calling for his services in 2004.

In his first competitive appearance for CSKA he won his first trophy, the Russian Super Cup as they defeated Spartak Moscow 3-1.

His impact in his first season was unquestionable as he not only helped his new side to the Uefa Cup Final, but also scored the goal to put Moscow in front against Sporting.

In 2006 he was honoured with the 'Best Goal of the Competition' by Uefa's official magazine for his strike (below) against Hamburg in the Champions League.



Due to a strong Champions League group in 2007, CSKA found it tough to make a significant impact on the competition.

PSV, Fenerbahce and Inter were drawn against Moscow who ducked out the Champions League that season without a win.

A year later Zhirkov scored his third goal in European competition, commendable for a man plying his trade on the wing.

It came against Polish outfit Lech Poznan, but CSKA went on to lose to eventual winners Shakhtar Donetsk in the Round of 16 in the Uefa Cup.

During that Uefa Cup run in 2008-09 he also came up against Aston Villa with CSKA dispatching of the English qualifiers in the Round of 32.

Chelsea made Yuri the most expensive Russian footballer of all time, a record only previously broken by Andriy Arshavin's move to Arsenal a few months previous.

He is yet to make his professional debut for the Blues owing to a knee injury, but it is hoped he will play a part in the fixture against QPR this evening.

The midfielder also has 31 Russia caps to his name being named in the Euro 2008, team of the tournament.




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The journalist

Writer: Boxer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 23 2009

Time: 10:54AM

 

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