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Marians Pahars

Published: Monday 6 January 2014, 7.15CET
Marians Pahars
Latvia coach Marians Pahars ©LFF
Published: Monday 6 January 2014, 7.15CET

Marians Pahars


Date of birth: 5 August 1976
Nationality: Latvian
Playing career: FK Pārdaugava, Skonto Metall FC, Skonto FC (twice), Southampton FC, Anorthosis Famagusta FC, FC Jūrmala
Coaching career: Skonto FC, Latvia Under-21s, Latvia

• Born in the village of Chornobai in central Ukraine, he moved to Latvia – his parents' homeland – while young and undertook his football education in Riga before making his senior debut at Skonto in 1995. He won the league title in each of his first four seasons, and the double in three of them.

• Transferred to English Premier League outfit Southampton in 1999, where the diminutive forward became a firm fans' favourite. Known as the 'Latvian Owen' after England striker Michael Owen, he spent seven successful years with the Saints, despite a succession of injuries.

• After a year with Anorthosis, lifting the Cypriot Cup, Pahars returned to Latvia and Skonto, ending his career at Jūrmala in 2009. He accepted a role as assistant to Aleksandrs Starkovs at Skonto the following year.

• Skonto claimed the 2010 championship and Pahars replaced Starkovs at the helm the next year. His first term in the hot seat brought the Latvian Cup and a runners-up finish in the First Division, though Pahars soon left as Skonto were suffering off-the-pitch problems.

• Pahars was out of football for just two months before taking charge of Latvia's U21 side. His tenure lasted a solitary game as Starkovs' unexpected decision to step down as senior team boss last summer prompted the younger man's immediate promotion on a contract until 2018.

Last updated: 05/06/15 5.02CET

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