Riga-born, Russian-speaking Norwegian international defender Vadim Demidov tells UEFA.com his unusual life story as he prepares to try and help Rosenborg BK make the group stage.
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Vadim Demidov has an unusual life history – a Riga-born, Russian-speaking Norwegian international defender aiming to help Rosenborg BK back to the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Demidov moved to Norway aged three when his father Sergei, a famed handball player, left Riga outfit Celtnieks for Sandefjord. The family liked their new home so much they remained there, and Demidov Jr now has four senior caps for his adopted nation.
"Despite the fact my mum is from Samara and father is from Moscow, I have never lived in Russia," Demidov told UEFA.com, speaking perfect Russian with just a trace of a Norwegian accent. "However, we often go to Russia and Latvia for holidays."
He had a chance to follow in his father's sporting footsteps. "I played handball up to the age of 16 and I must admit that I had great prospects," said Demidov. "But I am not one to choose the easy way. I preferred football, which is more popular and where I had to work much hander."
A youth player with local side IL Runar, Demidov's first senior club was Sandefjord Fotball and he moved on to Hønefoss BK in 2007 before the then Norway Under-21 captain joined Rosenborg a year later. "I always try to sign for the clubs which are really interested in me," he explained. "I didn't choose Rosenborg just because they are the biggest and most famous Norwegian club, but also because they really wanted me. These sort of clubs are always the best option for a player as you get the chance to play."
The 23-year-old helped Rosenborg into the UEFA Europa League group stage last season and aided them to the Norwegian title. On Wednesday they will reach the UEFA Champions League if they make the most of a 2-1 play-off lead at FC København. A group campaign would be a fitting way to bring the curtain down on Demidov's time in Trondheim, with Real Sociedad de Fútbol the most likely destination.
"My contract with Rosenborg expires in December," he said. "I have spent two and a half great years in Trondheim and want make a change in my life – to move to a new country, to learn a new language.
"I also have offers from other teams, who probably are even more famous in Europe. But as I said, I choose the clubs which really want me to join them. Real Sociedad know the Russian mentality, as several Russian footballers have played there and also the league is very strong. However, I have not signed a contract with them yet."