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Dzagoev thrives in starring role

Published: Saturday 20 February 2010, 9.00CET
Nineteen-year-old Alan Dzagoev has been showing a global audience in the UEFA Champions League just what CSKA have known for years – that he is blessed with extraordinary talent.

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Published: Saturday 20 February 2010, 9.00CET

Dzagoev thrives in starring role

Nineteen-year-old Alan Dzagoev has been showing a global audience in the UEFA Champions League just what CSKA have known for years – that he is blessed with extraordinary talent.

Name: Alan Dzagoev
Club: PFC CSKA Moskva
Debut: 26/04/08 v FC Luch-Energia Vladivostok (Russian Premier League)
Position: attacking midfielder
Nationality: Russian
Date of Birth: 17/06/90

Born and raised in Beslan, Dzagoev made his Russia debut aged 18 in October 2008 and has been showing a global audience in the UEFA Champions League this season just what CSKA have known for years – that he is blessed with extraordinary talent. His stunning finish from a tight angle over the shoulder of Manchester United FC's Edwin van der Sar during the group stage was the pick of the three goals he has scored so far in the competition this term. His terrific technique, vision and passing, not to mention blistering shot, are a major reason why CSKA will entertain Sevilla FC with optimism high in the opening leg of their first knockout round tie on 24 February.

Breakthrough game
PFC CSKA Moskva 4-3 FC Khimki
11/05/08 Russian Premier-League

Dzagoev joined CSKA from second division side FC Krylya Sovetov-SOK Dimitrovgrad in December 2007 and quickly made an impression. Still just 17, he scored once and set up two more in the 71 minutes he was on the pitch before being substituted. "Brilliant debut," purred coach Valeri Gazzaev after seeing the young starlet open his scoring account for the club with a superb chip following a neat one-two with Vágner Love.

He says:
"It's my life. The only thing I do well is football. It is not like a job; I always go out on the pitch to enjoy it. It will be always be like that. I don't think I will ever have enough of football."

"It was my dream to score a goal in the Champions League. When we came out for the match against Wolfsburg, my mission was to score a goal, but above all to play well for the team, do my best to help my team and contribute to a victory. Unfortunately we didn't win, but when I scored my first goal against Wolfsburg, I felt the sensation that at last my dream had come true!"
Dzagoev recalls his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 3-1 loss at VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 1

They say:
"Dzagoev is a very young player and one of the best Russian players at the moment. He is 19 years old and has a great career and future ahead of him. He is very talented with the ball and is improving as he gets more experience. Hopefully he can go as far as possible and become a world-class player."
CSKA winger Mark González speaking to UEFA.com in February 2010

"Everybody got to know Dzagoev in 2008. Now if Alan underperforms for any reason, everyone notices because he is one of CSKA's leaders."
CSKA head coach Leonid Slutski in November 2009

Last updated: 25/02/10 17.17CET

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