Vyacheslav Malafeev will probably start UEFA EURO 2012 as the understudy to Igor Akinfeev but the long-serving FC Zenit St Petersburg goalkeeper – and 2008 UEFA Cup winner – did his prospects of starting the tournament as first choice no harm by keeping clean sheets in each of Russia's last four qualifying matches.
• Born in St Petersburg (or Leningrad as it was then known), Malafeev received his footballing education at the city's renowned Smena academy; made his debut for Zenit aged 20 and became the club's first-choice goalkeeper in 2001.
• Experienced a dramatic international debut in the second leg of a UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying play-off against Wales, a 1-0 win in Cardiff sending Russia through to the finals.
• Became Russia's No1 after UEFA EURO 2004, where he replaced red-carded Sergei Ovchinnikov mid-tournament, but was subsequently displaced in the role by Akinfeev and spent the next few years as his understudy, including at UEFA EURO 2008.
• A Russian champion with Zenit in 2007, he kept goal in all of the club's knockout matches en route to winning the UEFA Cup the following year, keeping a clean sheet against Rangers FC in the final; helped Zenit to a Russian Cup and Premier-Liga double in 2010, bypassing 250 appearances for the club in the latter.
• His wife, Marina, was killed in a car crash on the morning of Zenit's 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg against FC Twente.
• Ever-present in Zenit's historic passage through the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage, conceding four goals, he appeared in 41 out of 44 matches as the Sine-Belo-Golubye retained the Premier-Liga title.
UEFA Cup: winner 2008
UEFA Super Cup: winner 2008
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