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Name: Yury Zhirkov
Nationality: Russian
Date of Birth: 20/08/1983
Height:5' 11" (180cm)
Weight:11st 11lbs (75.0kg)
Clubs:CSKA Moscow
Position: Midfielder

Chelsea career
Yury Zhirkov signed from CSKA Moscow on a three-year contract in the summer of 2009, though a knee injury prevented a debut until late September, the Russian playing 60 minutes in a 1-0 win over QPR in the Carling Cup.

Yury arrived with a reputation as a pacy winger capable of beating players, but one who could also fill in at left-back.

Injury to Ashley Cole meant we certainly saw the latter, but the form of others, largely Florent Malouda, meant his attacking prowess only came to the fore in flashes.

The player himself admitted there was a struggle as he adapted to a new country and a new club without the day-to-day involvement that full training allows.

Speaking just before Christmas, by which time he had still only played a handful of matches, Yury announced he had not 'done anything special so far' but chances would come in 2010.

He impressed against Watford and Sunderland, creating goals in each, and figured regularly during a January where we were missing key players at the African Cup of Nations.

Then came Cole's injury in early February, a fractured ankle that would keep him out two months. Just two games into his spell in the side, Yury suffered injury of his own, resulting in him missing our Champions League first leg against Inter.

Back for the second leg, he found himself marginalised by the excellent Maicon. If that night was a low in the season, then his highlight was against Aston Villa 11 days later.

Given free rein to attack, he galloped forward time and again, twice beating his man inside the area before being brought down for penalties, and then supplying the pinpoint cross for Malouda to volley home the goal of the game.

Cole's return to fitness in late April meant Yury featured less in the run-in, and was again only a periphery figure as 2010/11 began.

Further injuries have given him his chance though, this time in the centre of midfield, and he has not disappointed, even grabbing a first Chelsea goal in his homeland, crashing in an unstoppable 25-yard half-volley against Spartak Moscow, adding important assists to his game too.

Yury joined CSKA in 2004 from Spartak Tambov, his hometown side. Born on August 20, 1983 430 miles south-east of Moscow, he joined his local side as a 10-year-old, making his debut in 2001 and scoring 26 goals in 74 games for the Russian third division outfit.

He was given trials by CSKA, Lokomotiv and Spartak Moscow, cementing his place at CSKA as a wide man with a deft left foot, lightning pace and exceptional dribbling ability. He scored 15 goals in 139 appearances for the club.

He won the Uefa Cup in 2005 after scoring during a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the final, held in Lisbon, and during CSKA's 2006/07 campaign, Zhirkov's goal against Hamburg in the Champions League was awarded best goal of the competition by Uefa's magazine.

He also won the Russian Premier League twice with CSKA, once in 2005 and again in 2006.
He has three Russian Cups to his name, in 2005, 2006 and 2008, as well as four Russian Super Cups, and was also voted 2008 Russian Premier League Player of the Season.

International Career
He first played for Russia on 9 February 2005 against Italy, the majority of his appearances since coming under Guus Hiddink. He was sent off in the World Cup qualifying play-off game against Slovenia.

Yury was named in the Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament after an impressive contribution throughout the competition as a wing-back when Russia were the surprise package in making the semi-finals. They lost to eventual winners Spain.

In October of the same year, Zhirkov was named as one of the 30 nominees for the European Ballon d'Or award.
Season 2010 - 11

Competition Apps
(as sub)
Goals Yellow
League 6  (6) 0 1 0
FA Cup 0  (1) 0 0 0
League Cup 1  (0) 0 0 0
Euro Cups 6  (1) 1 2 0

Career History:
Club Season Comp. Apps
(as sub)
Chelsea 2009 - 10League 10  (7) 0
  FA Cup 4  (0) 0
  League Cup 2  (0) 0
  Euro Cups 3  (1) 0
CSKA Moscow 2008 - 09League 27  (0) 4
  FA Cup 1  (0) 1
  Euro Cups 8  (1) 2
CSKA Moscow 2007 - 08League 14  (0) 1
  Euro Cups 6  (0) 0
CSKA Moscow 2006 - 07Euro Cups 9  (1) 1
CSKA Moscow 2005 - 06Euro Cups 4  (1) 0
CSKA Moscow 2004 - 05Euro Cups 16  (0) 1
Stoke City
Barclays Premier League
Britannia Stadium
13/08/ 15:00

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