Who is Igor Akinfeev?

Posted by Ross A. Schweitzer on June 22, 2017

He was born in 1986 in the Soviet town of Vidnoye. When he was 4 years old his father sent him to CSKA. He has been there ever since. After his second practice he became a goalie. He has been a goalkeeper ever since. It’s insane to think about a player being at a club for 5 years these days, let alone for 27 years and counting! In 2002, along with the junior CSKA Moscow team, he won the Russian Junior Championship. That was just a precursor of what would happen with the senior team.

At the age of 16 he made his senior debut and kept a clean sheet and stopped a PK on the way to a 2–0 victory. The following year he became a first team regular. They went on to win the club’s first ever Russian Premier League Title. Two years later with Akinfeev guiding the goal, CSKA won the treble of the Russian Premier League, Russian Cup and the UEFA Cup. In 2006 a third RPL title and a second Russian Cup trophy. The silverware was starting to mount up for Igor. He was also awarded the Zvezda trophy in 2006, for the best player from the former Soviet Union. He really couldn’t do much more in Russia.

In the Champions League 06/07 season Akinfeev had 362 minutes of not allowing a goal. May 2007 was a sad turn for Igor as he sustained an injury that forced him to miss the rest of the season. As a result CSKA finished third in the league. The following year he started every match and won the Russian Cup yet again. 2009 was another Russian Cup. Their 5th Russian Cup came in 2011. 2012 saw them win the RPL for the first time in 7 years. That year also saw him win Russian Player of the Year. His fifth RPL came in 2014.

Igor Akinfeev has had a stellar club career. Internationally he hasn’t had the same fortunes. He is a very good keeper nonetheless and is good in the air, has good instincts and is a cut above your average goalie. He has had several opportunities to move to England or elsewhere, but decided to stay with CSKA Moscow out of his loyalty to the club.

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