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Shota Arveladze

soccer-legend-shota
soccer-legend-shota

Shota Arveladze (Born 22 February 1973) was a Georgian former professional footballer.

Arveladze played at Dinamo Tbilisi, Trabzonspor, Ajax, Rangers, AZ and Levante.

He is Georgia’s all-time top scorer with 291 goals in his 410 league games for his clubs and 26 goals in his 61 games for the national team.

His 27 goals scored in the UEFA Cup competition ranks him 5th in the tournament’s history. He has the best strike record of independent Georgian Football. He was nominated as the best player of Georgia as well as the best player by the Georgian Professional Football league survey.

Tbilisi and Trabzonspor

Arveladze played at Dinamo Tbilisi, Trabzonspor, and Ajax, and finished at least one season as the top goal scorer at all three. In 1993, he scored an effective first Euro Tournament goal in the history of independent Georgian Football in the match against Linfield, Northern Ireland. When he led Trabzonspor in goals in 1995–96, he also led the Süper Lig, making him the second non-Turk to date to lead that league in goals after Tarik Hodžić 1983–84. He is recorded as “most loved foreign player” for Trabzonspor supporters.

Ajax Amsterdam

In summer 1997, Arveladze signed for Ajax Amsterdam. Later, Shota declared that he was so nervous during his first training session, that he even forgot to take football boots with him. He became a close friend to Ronald de Boer during his spell in Amsterdam. His first game at Amsterdam Arena is a special day for the Georgian player. On August 15, 1997, Ajax Amsterdam faced Brazilian side Grêmio in a friendly game. Shota scored a goal, while his wife Tamuna gave birth to their first child, Giorgi hours before the game.

Rangers

Arveladze joined Rangers from Ajax for £3m in 2001. He agreed a four-year deal with the club. It was obvious that the Georgian would face a fierce competitions for the starting place in the Rangers’ strikeforce from the players like Tore Andre Flo, Claudio Caniggia, Michael Mols, Kenny Miller, Billy Dodds, Ronald de Boer and Russell Latapy.

During the first season with Glasgow-based club, Arveladze scored 17 goals overall, including 11 in Scottish Premier League. He only managed to take part in 30 games, after being injured in February in the quarterfinal of Scottish Cup against Forfar Athletic. However, Shota scored six goals for his club, which managed to win the title. Arveladze played in the final, replacing Claudio Caniggia. This was his first title with the Scottish club.

AZ

He departed Rangers for Dutch side AZ on a free transfer before the start of 2005–06 season, signing a two-year deal with the club.

Under the guidance of Louis van Gaal, Shota became the key figure of the club. He scored 22 goals in Eredivisie, becoming the second best top-scorer of the tournament after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who scored 33 goals during the season. Alkmaar participated in UEFA Cup this time as well. In 6 game for the club, Arveladze made 2 assists and scored 2 goals, one of them against Real Betis. At the end of the season, AZ Alkmaar and Arveladze agreed a contract extension to keep the Georgian international striker at the Dutch club until the summer of 2008.

Levante

In July 2007, Shota Arveladze passed a medical and agreed a one-year contract with the Spanish club Levante.

Unfortunately he injured during the summer training session of the club and missed nearly ten months. He got injured in July and when underwent surgery in Amsterdam. The Georgian returned and made a debut against Villarreal in March, replacing Juanma. He managed to take part in other 3 games until the end of the season.

International

Shota Arveladze was a regular in the Georgian national team and is its all-time leading scorer with 26 goals in his 61 games.

Honours

Club

Dinamo Tbilisi

Umaglesi Liga (4): 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94

Georgian Cup (4): 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94

Trabzonspor

Turkish Cup (1): 1994–95

Turkish Super Cup (1): 1995

Ajax

Eredivisie (1): 1997–98

KNVB Cup (2): 1997–98, 1998–99

Rangers

Scotland Premier League (2): 2002–03, 2004–05

Scottish League Cup (1): 2002–03

Scottish Cup (2): 2001–02, 2002–03

Individual

Turkish Cup top scorer (1): 1994–95

Süper Lig top scorer (1): 1995–96

SPL Player of the Month (1): September 2003

Georgian Footballer of the Year (3): 1994, 1998, 2007

Tags: Footballer-of-the-Year, Scottish-Cup, Trabzonspor, Ajax, Levante, Rangers, Scottish-Premier-League, Dinamo Tbilisi, AZ-Alkmaar

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