Andrey Sergeyevich Arshavin (Russian: Андре́й Серге́евич Арша́вин [ɐnˈdrʲej sʲɪrˈɡʲejɪvʲɪtɕ ɐrˈʂavʲɪn]; born 29 May 1981) is a Russian professional footballer who currently plays for FC Kairat, in the Kazakhstan Premier League.
Arshavin began his career at Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2000. He won numerous trophies with the club until his departure in 2009: the Russian Premier League, Russian Premier League Cup, Russian Super Cup, UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. During his time with Zenit, Arshavin was named Russian Footballer of the Year.
Following a breakout performance at Euro 2008 where he impressed in Russia's run to the semi-final, Arshavin signed for English Premier League club Arsenal during the 2008-9 winter transfer window, becoming the most expensive player in Arsenal's history at the time, with a fee of £15 million. He was an important first team player at Arsenal in his first two seasons however a gradual decline in form and fitness led to a return to Zenit, initially on loan and then permanently in 2013.
Andrey Sergeyevich Arshavin was born in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, on 29 May 1981. Andrey's father Sergey Arshavin played as an amateur footballer. Arshavin survived an accident that could have killed him when he was hit by a car as a child. His parents divorced when he was aged 12, with Andrey having to sleep on the floor of a cramped flat with his mother. It was his father who persuaded him to pursue a career in football after his own failure to become a professional football player.
Arshavin began playing football at an early age and at seven years of age, he was enrolled in the Smena football academy of Zenit, his hometown club. As a schoolboy before football became his sole focus, he was a talented draughts player. Arshavin's father died of heart failure at the age of 40. He has written three books, including one titled 555 Questions and Answers on Women, Money, Politics and Football. Arshavin also has a degree in Fashion Design. He often misbehaved at school, commenting, "I behaved badly at school. When I was in the second grade, I tore down the registering journal of the class." It was this incident described by Arshavin that saw him expelled.
Zenit Saint Petersburg
In 2000, Arshavin was included in the Zenit first-team squad, making his debut in a 3–0 away win over English side Bradford City in the Intertoto Cup, coming on as a first-half substitute for Andrey Kobelev. He played in various positions on the field, starting as a right midfielder, then as an attacking midfielder, and finally adopted the second striker's role playing on a flank or behind the target man.
In the 2007 Russian Premier League season, Shava (Шава in Russian), as he was nicknamed by Zenit fans, guided his Zenit side to the title, starting all 30 matches, scoring 11 goals and providing 11 assists (the most in the Russian Premier League that year) en route. It was the club's first league title since winning the now-defunct Soviet Top League in 1984. Arshavin was also a key player during Zenit's 2008 UEFA Cup triumph and was named Man of the Match in the final, again topping the list for assists in that season's UEFA competition. In October 2008, Arshavin was nominated for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award, along with 29 others in a list that included compatriot Yuri Zhirkov.
Arshavin's performances in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Euro 2008 brought him to the attention of several European clubs. However, interest had already been expressed in January 2008 by Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce, but he was sacked as manager as the transfer window opened. In June 2008, Barcelona had their €15 million offer for the player turned down by Zenit. Additionally, Tottenham Hotspur's £16 million offer in August also fell short of Zenit's £22 million asking price. Zenit's unwillingness to compromise on their asking price caused discontent from both Arshavin, who said the 2008 season was definitely going to be his last with Zenit, and his agent Denis Lachter.
During the January 2009 transfer window, Arshavin was persistently pursued by English Premier League club Arsenal. On 2 February, transfer deadline day, Arshavin was staying in a Hertfordshire hotel, just a few miles from the Arsenal training ground. At around 10 am, he left the hotel and was rumoured to be heading back to Russia, but with less than an hour of the transfer window left, a bid from Arsenal was finally accepted by Zenit. By this point, he had agreed personal terms and passed a medical, but a compensation payment by Arshavin himself to Zenit was supposedly holding up the deal. The deal was further complicated by a snowstorm in England that had delayed the Premier League's registration process, eventually forcing the league to extend the deadline beyond 5 pm. The deal was not confirmed until the following day (3 February), nearly 24 hours after the formal transfer deadline had passed, with Arsenal announcing "a long-term deal" for an undisclosed fee. On the same day, Zenit's official web site claimed that Zenit received an official FA letter confirming Arshavin's registration as an Arsenal player.
Arshavin wore the number 23 shirt, last worn by Sol Campbell. As Arshavin had played for Zenit in the 2008–09 Champions League, he was cup-tied and could not play for Arsenal in the knockout phase. Arshavin made his debut for Arsenal against Sunderland on 21 February 2009 in the Premier League, which ended 0–0. On 3 March 2009, Arshavin made his first contribution in a Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion by setting up a goal for Kolo Touré in the 38th minute via a free-kick, the second goal in a 3–1 victory. On 14 March 2009, Arshavin scored his first Arsenal goal in a very tight angle going solo against Blackburn Rovers in the 65th minute of the game. He later provided an assist to Emmanuel Eboué for the third goal of the game, which ended 4–0 to Arsenal.
On 21 April 2009, Arshavin was named Man of the Match when he scored all four Arsenal goals in a tight match against Liverpool at Anfield, which ended 4–4. It was a thrilling encounter, and the first time Arshavin had scored four goals in one match in his entire career. He also became the first away player to score four goals in a single league match at Anfield since Dennis Westcott for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1946, and the first Arsenal player to score four goals in any match since Júlio Baptista in 2007, who also achieved the feat against Liverpool in Anfield. Additionally, he became only the sixth player in Premier League history to score four goals in an away match. Arshavin captained Arsenal for the first time on 2 May 2009 in an away match against Portsmouth, where they won 3–0 with Arshavin gaining two assists and a contentious penalty. On 8 May, he was named Premier League Player of the Month for April. He was also voted as Arsenal's Player of the Month for April and May and came second in Arsenal's Player of the Season poll, despite only playing in the second half of the season and playing in fewer than a quarter of Arsenal's matches all season.
Arshavin came off the bench to score two goals in Arsenal's 2–1 pre-season victory on 1 August over Atlético Madrid in the Emirates Cup. Manager Arsène Wenger commented afterward that "[Arshavin] knows how English football works," adding, "He knows as well that now he's part of the team from the start. I believe the team knows as well how important (he is) and how big an impact he can have on the results." On 26 August 2009, Arshavin scored his first UEFA Champions League goal for Arsenal in the 74th minute in a 3–1 win over Celtic. He also scored a 30-yard shot against Manchester United at Old Trafford on 29 August 2009, which was his first goal of the season although Arsenal lost the match 2–1. In early December, Arshavin put in an excellent display against Stoke City, playing in an unfamiliar role as centre-forward left vacant after Robin van Persie's injury. He won a penalty which Fàbregas missed before scoring himself and later assisted the second goal, with Arsenal winning the match 2–0.
On 13 December 2009, Arshavin scored his fifth goal against Liverpool as Arsenal came from behind to beat Liverpool 2–1 at Anfield again, also winning the Man of the Match award in the end again. On 20 January 2010, he scored again in Arsenal's 4–2 victory over Bolton Wanderers, which helped Arsenal reach the top of the Premier League for the first time since August. However, he suffered a calf strain against Barcelona, ruling him out for three weeks. Arshavin missed one of two games in May due to injury, but scored for the last time of the season against Fulham, in a match which Arsenal won 4–0.
On 17 July 2010, Arshavin scored the opening goal against Barnet in Arsenal's first pre-season friendly match of the season, which Arsenal won 4–0. He then won the Man of the Match award for best performance by Arsenal fans according to Arsenal's official website. On 21 August 2010, Arshavin scored his first goal of the season via a penalty for Arsenal in a 6–0 win over Blackpool after Marouane Chamakh was fouled by Ian Evatt in the penalty area. He also scored in Arsenal's very next game on 28 August 2010, scoring the winning goal against Blackburn Rovers for the third time when Cesc Fàbregas' shot was blocked and fell into the path of Arshavin, Arsenal winning the match 2–1.
On 15 September 2010, Arshavin scored and provided two assists against Braga in Arsenal's first Champions League group stage match, with Arsenal winning 6–0. On 18 September 2010, Arshavin scored his first League Cup goal, which was also Arsenal's fourth goal during extra time, to defeat Tottenham in the third round of the League Cup, with Arsenal winning against their arch rivals 4–1. He later scored Arsenal's first goal in a 3–1 midweek Champions League away win against FK Partizan in the 15th minute after a backheel pass by Jack Wilshere. Vladimir Stojković saved Arshavin's penalty in the second half after Marouane Chamakh was fouled in the penalty area.
On 27 November 2010, Arshavin scored his first goal since September, which was the opening goal against Aston Villa in a 4–2 away win. On 29 December 2010, Arshavin scored a scissor kick volley to bring Arsenal level when they were 1–0 down to Wigan Athletic. He later made an assist for Nicklas Bendtner to put Arsenal 2–1 up, but after a Sébastien Squillaci own goal, the match ended 2–2. He then won the Man of the Match award for best performance by Arsenal fans for the second time.
On 1 February 2011, Arshavin came off the bench in the 62nd minute and scored his first 2011-goal and first goal since December just 8 minutes later to make Arsenal level when they were 1–0 down to Everton in a game that Arsenal won 2–1. He then won the Man of the Match award for best performance by Arsenal fans for the third time. On 16 February 2011, Arshavin scored as Arsenal beat Barcelona for the first time in their history in a 2–1 win in the Champions League round of 16. This was Arshavin's first Champions League goal for Arsenal not scored in the group stage. The next day, Arsenal centre back Johan Djourou stated that "Arshavin showed he is a great player," because of his winning goal and his rising performance from his recent dip in form.
On 20 February 2011, Arsenal faced Leyton Orient for The FA Cup fifth-round, a 1–1 draw in which Arshavin won the Man of the Match award for best performance by Arsenal fans for the fourth time, even though he did not score, though he did come close numerous times. Arshavin's next Premier League goal was away to West Bromwich Albion, bringing the score to 2–1 after West Brom had earlier taken a 2–0 lead. He also provided the cross for Robin van Persie's late equaliser in that game.
On 10 September 2011, Arshavin scored his first goal of the season against Swansea City after a bizarre mistake by goalkeeper Michel Vorm. His other performances in the season were riddled with criticism about his refusal to track back and help with defense. During a home game against Manchester United, Arshavin was booed when he came on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain although it is believed that the booing was directed at the decision to make a substitution and not at Arshavin himself.
On 11 February 2012, Arshavin provided Thierry Henry with the winning goal in the match against Sunderland. After coming on during the second half, Arshavin found space to deliver a cross during injury time, from the left side of the pitch despite being marked by two players. The cross found Henry's foot and made it into the back of the net.
Return to Zenit (loan)
After intense speculation about joining Anzhi Makhachkala and reuniting with former Russian national team coach Guus Hiddink, Arshavin sealed a loan move to his boyhood club Zenit Saint Petersburg for the remainder of the 2011–12 season, just 40 seconds before the end of the deadline day of the Russian transfer window. An intention to hold on to a place in Russia's Euro 2012 squad was the reason behind Arshavin's move to Luciano Spalletti's side in Saint Petersburg.
On 3 March, Arshavin made his loan debut for Zenit in an away fixture against CSKA Moscow which ended in a 2–2 draw. Arshavin wasn't eligible to feature in Zenit's 2–0 loss to Benfica in the last 16 of the Champions League. In total, Arshavin made 11 appearances in his second spell at Zenit, scoring three goals.
Arshavin returned to Arsenal for the start of the 2012–13 season. He appeared as a 77th-minute substitute in their first game of the season, a 0–0 draw against Sunderland on 18 August 2012. On 26 September, Arshavin was handed his first start of the season in the League Cup. He scored the third goal and assisted two others in a 6–1 win over Coventry City. On 20 October, Arshavin made his 100th Premier League appearance for Arsenal in a 1–0 loss against Norwich City. He also played in Arsenal's 2–1 loss against Olympiacos in the Champions League on 4 December. On 5 June 2013, Arsenal announced that Arshavin, along with teammates Denilson and Sébastien Squillaci, would leave the club when their contracts expire on 30 June. After leaving the club, Arshavin said he found long periods out of the starting eleven "psychologically difficult," and he "nearly suffered depression."
Return to Zenit
On 27 June 2013, it was announced that Arshavin signed a two-year deal with Zenit, moving on a free transfer. Arshavin stated that he was "very happy to put on Zenit's shirt again."
Arshavin scored on his second league appearance for the club, opening a 1–1 draw at home to Kuban Krasnodar on 26 July, before netting again on 7 August, in a 5–0 win in the Champions League third qualifying round against FC Nordsjælland. In a total of 21 Russian Premier League appearances in 2013–14, he scored only one more goal, in a 4–0 away win at Rostov on 22 September, and Zenit finished the season as runners-up.
On 13 July 2015, Arshavin signed for Kuban Krasnodar on a one-year deal. His contract was dissolved by mutual consent on 1 February 2016.
On 18 March 2016, Arshavin signed for FC Kairat on a one-year deal, with the option of a second year. Kairat extended Arshavin's for the additional year on 9 November 2016.
Arshavin debuted for the Russian national team on 17 May 2002, but was overlooked for the Russia squads at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2004. His first goal with the squad came in a friendly match versus Romania on 13 February 2003. Since then, he has managed to score or assist in every competition which Russia has participated in. He was Russia's captain in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia. On 11 June 2009, Arshavin was made first-choice captain for Russia by manager Guus Hiddink.
UEFA Euro 2008
Arshavin was included in Russia's Euro 2008 squad by Guus Hiddink, despite being unable to play in the first two group matches due to suspension. He announced his return by setting up the first goal and scoring the second in Russia's final group game against Sweden at Tivoli Neu, Innsbruck, which helped his team qualify for the next round.
In the next match, the quarter-final against the Netherlands, Arshavin repeated the feat with his part in Russia's two goals in the second half of extra time, providing the cross for Dmitri Torbinski's goal and scoring his own four minutes later. Russia consequently reached the semi-finals with a 3–1 victory. For both of these games, UEFA awarded him Man of the Match. However, Arshavin could not repeat the heroics in the semi-final against eventual winners Spain, which Russia lost 3–0. Despite this, Arshavin was named in UEFA's squad for Euro 2008. He, along with the rest of the Russian team, received a bronze medal.
2010 World Cup qualifying
Arshavin captained the team to a second-place finish in their group, scoring three goals in ten games. He provided the assist for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's second goal to seal a 2–1 win over Slovenia in the first leg of the qualification play-offs. Despite this, Russia lost the second leg 1–0, knocking them out of the World Cup finals on away goals.
UEFA Euro 2012
Arshavin was confirmed for the finalized UEFA Euro 2012 squad on 25 May 2012. He started all three of their games in the group stage of Group A, as Russia were eliminated in the group stage, finishing third place behind on the head-to-head ruling. Nonetheless, Arshavin was statistically named the best midfielder of the tournament by UEFA, having earned the most assists in the least amount of minutes on the pitch (270 minutes). After the tournament, Russian fans were left disappointed by comments from Arshavin, who said that if people felt let down by the team, then "it was their problem." Arshavin later apologized for his comment as well as Russia's early exit from the tournament.
After playing in new manager Fabio Capello's first match in charge, a friendly match with Côte d'Ivoire, Arshavin was omitted from Russia's squad for the entirety of its 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.
- Scores and results list.
| ||13 February 2003||Tsirion Stadium, Limassol, Cyprus||RomaniaNote|| || ||Friendly|
| ||9 October 2004||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg||Luxembourg|| || ||2006 World Cup qualification|
| ||13 October 2004||Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal||Portugal|| || ||2006 World Cup qualification|
| ||30 March 2005||A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn, Estonia||Estonia|| || ||2006 World Cup qualification|
| ||4 June 2005||Petrovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia||Latvia|| || ||2006 World Cup qualification|
| ||8 June 2005||Borussia Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany||Germany|| || ||Friendly|
| ||17 August 2005||Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia||Latvia|| || ||2006 World Cup qualification|
| ||7 October 2006||Dynamo Stadium, Moscow, Russia||Israel|| || ||Euro 2008 qualification|
| ||15 November 2006||Skopje City Stadium, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia||Macedonia|| || ||Euro 2008 qualification|
| ||8 September 2007||Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow, Russia||Macedonia|| || ||Euro 2008 qualification|
| ||4 June 2008||Wacker Arena, Burghausen, Germany||Lithuania|| || ||Friendly|
| ||18 June 2008||Tivoli-Neu, Innsbruck, Austria||Sweden|| || ||Euro 2008|
| ||21 June 2008||St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland||Netherlands|| || ||Euro 2008|
| ||11 October 2008||Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany||Germany|| || ||2010 World Cup qualification|
| ||15 October 2008||Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow, Russia||Finland|| || ||2010 World Cup qualification|
| ||14 October 2009||Tofik Bakhramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan||Azerbaijan|| || ||2010 World Cup qualification|
| ||29 February 2012||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||Denmark|| || ||Friendly|
- As of match played 1 October 2016
- As of 15 August 2012
|Russia national team|
2018 World Cup bid
On 2 December 2010, Arshavin made a speech during Russia's presentation of its successful bid for the 2018 World Cup.
Zenit Saint Petersburg
- Russian Premier League: 2007, 2011–12, 2014–15
- Russian Premier League Cup: 2003
- Russian Super Cup: 2008
- UEFA Cup: 2007–08
- UEFA Super Cup: 2008
- UEFA European Championship Semi-finalist: 2008
- Ballon d'Or sixth place: 2008
- Premier League most effective player: 2009
- Premier League Player of the Month: April 2009
- Russian Footballer of the Year: 2006
- Russian Premier League Player of the Year: 2006
- Baltic and Commonwealth of Independent States Footballer of the Year: 2007, 2008, 2009
- UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2008
- UEFA Cup top assists: 2007–08
- Russian Premier League top assists: 2007
- Russian Premier League top assists: 2004
- UEFA Cup Final Man of the Match: 2008
- UEFA Euro top assists: 2012
- Arshavin the most effective in English top comp. http://rt.com (14 August 2009). Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- UEFA Cup Assists Leaders – 2007/08 – ESPN Soccernet. Soccernet.espn.go.com (14 May 2008). Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- Футбол – Премьер Лига. Россия. Спорт-Экспресс. Football.sport-express.ru. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- Футбол – Премьер Лига. Россия. Спорт-Экспресс. Football.sport-express.ru. Retrieved 18 march 2016.
- UEFA has recognized Russian midfielder Andrei Arshavin as the best passer. He spent less time for three transmissions – 270 minutes. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
Arshavin met his wife Julia during the summer of 2003. They have three children: two sons named Artem and Arseniy respectively and a daughter named Yana. On 14 August 2012, Arshavin confirmed on his official website that he and Julia had their second son, Arseniy, at 8:40am.