Andrei Tikhonov, one of the most famous players in FC Spartak Moskva's recent history, has rejoined the UEFA Europa League contenders as an assistant coach to Valeri Karpin.
The 40-year-old returns over a decade after making the last of 263 appearances during an eight-year spell with the capital club. A left midfielder, Tikhonov scored 90 goals for Spartak between 1992 and 2000 and played an integral role in helping the red-whites to eight of the nine league titles they have won since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Karpin said Tikhonov's appointment was a continuation of a club policy to employ ex-Spartak players. "We have a strategy of returning our former players to the club," he explained. "After my previous assistant became head of our youth academy we started to search for a new one. Once we learned Andrei was thinking about retiring from playing we immediately made him an offer."
After leaving Spartak, Tikhonov moved on to Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara, FC Lokomotiv Astana and FC Khimki, for whom he played 29 matches in the Russian second tier last season. "I was shocked when Karpin called me," he said. "I never thought it would be possible to start coaching with Spartak immediately after the end of my playing career."
Karpin also hinted that his new assistant could make one final outing for Spartak before hanging up his boots for good. "That would be perfect," added Tikhonov.
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