He became one of the best Russ­ian play­ers in his­to­ry and refused Oleg Romant­sev to Spar­tak.

Andrei Arshavin is a Russ­ian foot­ball play­er who became famous for his per­for­mances for Zen­it and Lon­don’s Arse­nal. He is con­sid­ered one of the best foot­ball play­ers in the his­to­ry of Rus­sia, but even his fans do not know many facts about him.

Childhood in a communal apartment and success at Zenit

Arshavin was born on May 29, 1981 in Leningrad into a poor work­ing-class fam­i­ly. They lived in a com­mu­nal apart­ment, which did not stop Andrey from train­ing: “I hit the walls with a ball, and the neigh­bors had to endure the noise of hit­ting the ply­wood par­ti­tion.”

As a child, Arshavin often dined at the Ori­ent restau­rant, which was noto­ri­ous: “One of the most gang­ster places: dur­ing the day I dined, and in gen­er­al peo­ple were con­stant­ly being killed there.”

In 2000, Arshavin made his debut at Zen­it — he was only 17 years old. Since the 2001/02 sea­son, Andrei has become a sol­id starter: he scored 5 goals, gave 10 assists and won bronze with Zen­it. Arshavin was rec­og­nized as the dis­cov­ery of the year.

Spar­tak, the main giant of Russ­ian foot­ball at that time, became inter­est­ed in the young play­er. But Arshavin did not want to play on the right in mid­field, where Oleg Romant­sev saw him and remained at Zen­it.

Transfer to Arsenal and triumph in the Premier League

In 2008, Arshavin per­formed well at the tri­umphant Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship for the Russ­ian team — the team earned bronze. In six months Arshavin moved to Lon­don’s Arse­nal, becom­ing the club’s most expen­sive play­er at that time — they paid 17 mil­lion pounds ster­ling for him.

It is curi­ous that Arshavin could move to Barcelona, ​​for whom he had been a fan since child­hood. He even spoke with the Cata­lan lead­er­ship by phone:

“When Barcelona was inter­est­ed in me, Zen­it alleged­ly sent them a reply that they were ready to exchange me only for Mes­si. I don’t know how true this is, but the fact is a fact — they didn’t let me go to Barcelona.said Arshavin.

Arshavin in Arsenal

The first six months at Arse­nal were great for Arshavin: in 14 match­es of the sea­son he scored 6 goals and gave 7 assists. Fans espe­cial­ly remem­ber the pok­er (four goals) against Liv­er­pool; it hap­pened exact­ly two months after Arshavin’s debut at Arse­nal.

Arshav­in’s pok­er at Anfield was a huge event — the play­er even signed a con­tract with Pok­er­Stars (the largest pok­er site).

There were oth­er adver­tis­ing con­tracts: Arshavin adver­tised a sports­wear brand, an ener­gy com­pa­ny, an elec­tron­ics hyper­mar­ket and, of course, chips. Accord­ing to The Inde­pen­dent, the Russ­ian was paid 2 mil­lion euros for adver­tis­ing Lays.

Arshavin after retirement

In recent sea­sons at Arse­nal, Arshavin played poor­ly, caus­ing neg­a­tiv­i­ty among fans and man­age­ment. He returned to Rus­sia: he played at Zen­it, Kuban, and end­ed up at the Kaza­kh Kairat.

It is note­wor­thy that Arshavin nev­er asked his oppo­nents for T‑shirts after the match. The excep­tions are Fer­nan­do Tor­res and Cris­tiano Ronal­do.