IGOR AKINFEEV

RUSSIA'S

NEW HERO

He saved 2 penalties against Spain to send the host nation into the quarter-finals. But how much do you know about Igor Akinfeev and his records?


Akinfeev secured Russia a historic place in the quarter-finals by saving two penalties - first from Koke and then Iago Aspas - in a shootout against Spain. The match had ended 1-1 in regular time.

PENALTY EXPERT

His Russian league debut arrived when he was just 16-years-old. On his debut for CSKA - the only club he has played for - he saved a penalty, helping his team to a 2-0 win over Krylia Sovetov Samara.

Two years later, in 2004, he made his debut for the national team, becoming the 3rd youngest player to ever represent Russia. Ahead of him are Eduard Streltsov and Sergey Rodinov.

SHAKY TIMES

At Brazil 2014, in his first ever match at a FIFA World Cup, a mistake against Korea Republic earned him notoriety. The match ended 1-1. Russia eventually finished 3rd in the Group and was eliminated.

I just can’t explain why it happened and I never could. I've made saves like this a million times before. It looks like a horrible mistake when you watch it on TV. It happens sometimes, you just have to try not to break after making those mistakes. 

Igor Akinfeev, after his mistake against Korea Republic

His performances and resilience - including recovering from two cruciate ligament ruptures - led to him becoming captain of the Russian national team in 2017 after then-skipper Vasili Berezutsky ended his international career. 

SWEET REVENGE

Akinfeev was Russia's goalkeeper in the semi-final defeat to Spain at EURO 2008. La Roja won 3-0. Ten years later, by saving the penalties by Koke and Iago Aspas, he became a national hero.

This is not my victory, it belongs to the whole team. We fought until the end. To be honest, we hoped to get to a penalty shoot-out. Now it’s time for Russian people to celebrate.

Igor Akinfeev, after the victory over Spain

How far can he go?

Akinfeev has 47 clean sheets, a record with the national team. Did you miss his amazing performance against Spain? Watch it now!

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