On This Day: Dmitry Kirichenko was born

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On 17 January 1977, Dmitry Kirichenko was born in the city of Novoaleksandrovsk (Stavropol Territory). He went on to become one of the best scorers in the history of Russian championships and the scorer of the fastest goal in European Championship history. 

At the age of 17, Dmitry Kirichenko made his professional football debut for Lokomotiv Mineralnye Vody, who played in the third tier. At 18, he played for Iskra from his hometown, and a year later he moved to Torpedo Taganrog.

The striker scored 39 goals for Torpedo: seven in his first season and 32 in the second. After a successful 1997 season in the second tier, the striker moved to Rostselmash, who played in the top flight.

In his seventh match, Kirichenko scored for the first time for Rostselmash in a 4-0 win over FC Tyumen on matchday eight of the 1998 season, and on matchday 11 he scored his first Top League double in a 2-1 win against Dynamo Moscow. Kirichenko played for FC Rostov until 2001, and after the end of the season signed a contract with CSKA Moscow.

Kirichenko made four hat-tricks in the Russian top division. The first one was scored for Rostselmash in a 3-0 win against Krylia Sovetov in June 2000. After joining CSKA Dmitry made a hat-trick in his first game for the club in a 4-0 victory against Torpedo ZIL on the first matchday of the 2002 season, and later this year he scored three goals against his former club Rostselmash (5-1). The last hat-trick was completed by the striker in May 2005 for FC Moscow in 5-1 win against Tom Tomsk.

Kirichenko won one championship during his whole playing career - it happened in 2003, when he was playing for CSKA, and at the beginning of the 2004 season the striker won with the Armymen the Russian Super Cup with scoring a goal against Spartak Moscow in the extra time (3-1). The forward was also two-time RPL runner up in 2002 and 2004.

Kirichenko twice became the RPL's top scorer. In 2002, he scored 15 goals for CSKA – his best tally in the RPL – and won the goalscoring race together with teammate Roland Gusev. In 2005, Kirichenko scored 14 goals for FC Moscow and won the race alone.

Kirichenko played 12 matches for the Russian national team and scored four goals in them. On 12 February 2003, Dmitry made his debut for the national team in a 1-0 friendly win over Cyprus, and opened his account while winning his third cap on 28 April 2004 in a 3-2 defeat to Norway.

Sixty-seven seconds were enough for Kirichenko to score in his first competitive match for the Russian national team. In the final group-stage match at Euro 2004, the striker scored in the second minute of a 2-1 win over Greece. His goal was the fastest in the history of the European Championships.

The striker scored his 100th goal in Russian championships on 25 August 2007 for Saturn Moscow in a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow, and at that time became the third player in history to reach such a mark. Before Kirichenko, only Oleg Veretennikov and Dmitry Loskov had reached a ton.

The striker scored 22 penalties in a row, a Russian championships record. He converted his first spot kick for Rostselmash on 23 June 2000 in a 3-0 win over Krylia Sovetov, and the run was only interrupted after 10 years, on 14 August 2010. Then the Saturn player missed against his former team, Rostov, in a 2-0 loss. This turned out to be his only missed penalty in championship matches. In total, the forward has 26 goals from the penalty spot.

Kirichenko scored 129 goals in 377 Russian championship matches. He is third on this list, and for all seasons of the RPL he scored 91 times, the fourth most in the history of the league. He scored most of his championship goals for Rostov (48) goals, another 29 for CSKA and 26 each for Moscow and Saturn.

Kirichenko oversaw 14 games as a head coach; seven each with Rostov and FC Ufa. With Rostov, he worked as acting head coach after the departure of Kurban Berdyev, and under him the team reached the group stages of the Champions League, defeating Ajax 5-2 on aggregate in qualifying. 

In 2018, Kirichenko joined the coaching staff of Ufa, where he assisted Sergey Tomarov. For the Europa League qualifiers he was declared head coach due to the lack of Tomarov's necessary coaching license. After the departure of Tomarov in November 2018, the ex-striker led the team, and in his first match Ufa defeated Spartak 2-0. However, in the next six games, Ufa only picked up two points, and in March 2019, Kirichenko left the club.

Photo: Saturn Moscow Region, FC Rostov, CSKA Moscow


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