Bibras Natkho

Bibras Natkho (or Bebras Natcho,[2][3] Hebrew: ביברס נאתכו‎, Adyghe: Бибэрс Натхъо [bəjbars naːtχʷa]; born 18 February 1988) is a Circassian-Israeli footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Serbian club Partizan and captains the Israel national team. He is the first captain of Israel to be of Circassian-Muslim origin.[4]

Bibras Natkho
Cska-ufa (2).jpg
Natkho with CSKA Moscow in 2015
Personal information
Full name Bibras Natkho
Date of birth (1988-02-18) 18 February 1988 (age 32)
Place of birth Kfar Kama, Israel
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Partizan
Number 6
Youth career
Hapoel Tel Aviv
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2010 Hapoel Tel Aviv 91 (5)
2010–2014 Rubin Kazan 104 (21)
2014 PAOK 17 (3)
2014–2018 CSKA Moscow 101 (24)
2018–2019 Olympiacos 21 (1)
2019– Partizan 19 (7)
National team
2004–200 Israel U17[1] 12 (3)
2006 Israel U18 4 (1)
2006–2007 Israel U19 14 (7)
2007–2010 Israel U21 23 (5)
2010– Israel 66 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 March 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 October 2017

Early lifeEdit

Natkho was born in Kfar Kama, Israel, to a Circassian-Israeli Muslim family.[4] His father served as an officer in the Israel Border Police, he died of cardiac arrest in 2008.[5][6] His cousin, Circassian basketball player Nili Natkho, died in 2004 in a car accident in northern Israel. Their grandfather moved from Turkey to what was then British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel).[7] His younger cousin Amir Natkho joined CSKA in 2015 as well.[8] His uncle, Amir's father, Adam Natkho is also a former footballer.[9]

Club careerEdit

Hapoel Tel AvivEdit

Natkho joined Hapoel Tel Aviv's youth team together with Ben Sahar, moving through the ranks up to the first team at the start of the 2006–07 season, winning the State Cup during that season. Throughout the years, Natkho became an important player in Hapoel and in the Israeli national youth teams. Natkho made his League debut coming on as a substitute against Maccabi Netanya F.C. on 18 November 2006. Natkho's first professional goal was against NK Široki Brijeg during the 2nd leg of the 2007–08 UEFA Cup second qualifying round at Bloomfield Stadium. After the arrival of coach Eli Guttman during the 2007–08 season, Natkho became a main part of the team, scoring his first league goal against Maccabi Petah Tikva F.C. on 9 February 2008. Natkho made a few impressive performances at the beginning of the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League helping Hapoel finish top of Group C, ending the European campaign drawing 0–0 on a raining evening and losing 0–3 away at the Central Stadium (Kazan).

Rubin KazanEdit

 
Natkho playing for Rubin Kazan in 2010.

After losing 3–0 on aggregate in the Round of 32 of Europa League, Natkho moved to the eventual "European Dream" killers Rubin Kazan on 8 March 2010, signing a four-year deal with this Russian club.[10] with transfer fee of €650.000 paid to Hapoel Tel Aviv.[11]

Natkho then scored his first goal for the club, on 17 April 2010, in a 1–0 win over Amkar Perm.[12] His second goal came in a 2–1 win over Rostov on 16 October 2010. However, injuries limited his playing time, as he made fourteen appearance and scored twice.[13][14]

 
Natkho training ahead of the match for Rubin Kazan.

Natkho started the 2011–12 season well in all competitions, scoring his first goal on 27 May 2011, in a 4–1 win over Tom Tomsk.[15] His second goal of the season came on 14 June 2011, in a 3–0 win over Dynamo Moscow. As a result of his performance, Natkho was named Team of The Week Matchday 13.[16] Elsewhere, Natkho scored two goals in the Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Kyiv[17] and Lyon, who they eliminated Kazan out of the competitions and the club would play in the Europa League.[18] Then in the Europa League campaign, Natkho scored twice in six matches in the Group Stage of the Europa League against Tottenham Hostpur[19] and Shamrock Rovers.[20] Natkho performance was praised for his role during the season and helped the club win the Russian Cup after playing a vital of assisting the winning goal, in a 1–0 win over Dynamo Moscow.[21] Natkho made 56 appearances and scored fourteen appearances in all competitions. Also at the end of the year, Natkho was voted by the club's supporters as the best player of the year.[22]

At the start of the 2012–13 season, Natkho continuously made a good start for the club when he scored six goals in the first six matches against Krasnodar,[23] twice against Alania Vladikavkaz,[24] Dynamo Moscow,[25] Spartak Moscow[26] and Zenit Saint Petersburg.[27] Soon after, Natkho started negotiating over a new three-year contract with the club that would keep him until 2016.[28] However, the negotiations changed again to a one-year contract a month later.[29] Despite a contract negotiations, which is yet reported,[30] Natkho scored his sixth goal of the season, on 11 November 2012, in a 2–0 win over Krylia Sovetov Samara.[31] It would later revealed delayment of Natkho's new contract was over the future of Manager Kurban Berdyev.[32] In the quarter final of the Europa League, Natkho scored two goals (both coming from penalty) in both legs, as Rubin Kazan lose 5–4 on aggregate against Chelsea.[33][34] Natkho would later added two more goals later in the season against Lokomotiv Moscow[35] and Krasndor.[36] At the end of the 2012–13 season, Natkho wasn't only named by Sports.ru as one of the top players in the Russian league,[37] but team of the year.[38] However, Natkho agent revealed Natkho had yet reach an agreement over a new contract.[39]

In 2013–14 season, Natkho started his season when he scored in the second round of first leg of the Europa League, in a 3–2 win over Jagodina. Rubin Kazan would win in the return leg and would progress to the Group Stage.[40] With his uncertainty of his future, as his contract with the club expires in six months time, it announced that Natkho would stay at the club for the remaining months until January.[41] In the Europa League, Natkho played a vital role of assisting goals in the qualifying round and group stages. He would score three goals in six matches of the Group Stage, against Zulte Waregem[42][43] and Maribor.[44] In conclusion of the Europa League Group Stage, UEFA named Natkho as Team of the Group Stages.[45] Natkho scored a league goal, on 2 December 2013, in a 3–0 win over Amkar Perm.[46]

Natkho was named in the Team of the Season of the Europa League in the 2013–14 season. In the comments on his inclusion, UEFA said: "Probably Rubin's top performer over the last three years, the Israeli international dominates midfield, supplying assists and delivering great set pieces".[47]

In the winter break of the season, it was announced that Natkho would leave the club upon expiry of his contract. Natkho cited the departure of Manager Berdyev as the reason of his departure.[48] After leaving the club, Natkho hinted playing in the Bundesliga since it fits his playing style.[49] Natkho rejected a latest contract from Rubin Kazan despite having increase wages.[50] During his career at Rubin Kazan, He is sometimes referred to as the 'best foreigner' in the Russian league [51] and made 104 appearance and scored 21 times.

PAOKEdit

 
Natkho playing for CSKA Moscow in 2014

.

On 28 January 2014, Natkho arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece, to discuss a possible contract with PAOK. As his contract with Rubin Kazan and sponsorship of 123pame expired he could move to PAOK as a free transfer. The next day Natkho joined the club, signing a 6-month contract.[52]

His first goal for the club on 5 February 2014, in a 5–0 win against Crete,[53] followed by his second, in a 2–0 win over Atromitos on 6 April 2014.[54] Having made a good display, Natkho was awarded Player of the Month in March.[55] Natkho would help the club reach the final of Greek Cup, but received a yellow card during the match, which cause him to miss out for the final match.[56]

At the end of the season, it announced that Natkho was released by the club upon expiry of his contract.[57]

CSKA MoscowEdit

After six months at Greece, Natkho returned to Russia, where he joined CSKA Moscow on a four-year contract.[58]

Natkho scored his first goal for the club, which is against his former club, in a 2–1 loss on 18 August 2014.[59] After the match, Natkho felt he owned an apology to Rubin Kazan's supporters.[60] Natkho then scored a hat-trick on 31 August 2014, in a 6–0 win over Rostov.[61][62] On 21 October 2014, Natkho scored his first Champions League goal for CSKA Moscow with a penalty in the 86th minute against Manchester City.[63] Five days later, Natkho scored a brace, as CSKA Moscow drew 3–3 with FC Ural.[64]

Natkho provided two assists in the 2–1 victory over Manchester City in a Champions League group stage game.[65]

At the end of the 2014–15 season Natkho scored 12 goals, gave 8 assists, and was placed in the "Team of the Season".[66] He ended the season being the top scorer of CSKA.[67]

In a game against Dynamo Moscow on 5 October 2015 he suffered a slight concussion and was bleeding. Despite that, he insisted on continuing playing (his manager substituted him despite his protests).[68]

He left CSKA upon the expiration of his contract on 2 June 2018.[69]

OlympiacosEdit

After four years at Russia, Natkho returned to Greece, where he joined Olympiacos on a two-year contract.[70] A year later he mutually ended his contract with the club.

PartizanEdit

On 19 August 2019, Natkho signed a three-year contract with Serbian club Partizan and chose the number 6 shirt.[71] He made his Partizan debut three days later coming on as a 73rd-minute sub in the UEFA Europa League play-off game against Molde.[72] His first goals came on 19 September 2019 when he scored a brace in a 2–2 home draw with AZ Alkmaar in the first matchday of the Europa League group stage.[73]

International careerEdit

 
Natkho playing for Israel against Andorra in the Euro 2016 qualifying

Throughout his career, Natkho has played for nearly every Israeli national team together with his colleague, Beram Kayal.[74] As a former captain of the Israel under-19 football team, Natkho was called up for the Senior team friendly match held 12 August 2009 against Northern Ireland together with fellow club mate Avihai Yadin,[75] but wasn't capped. Natkho made his first appearance for the national team in a friendly game against Romania (3 March 2010), when he came as a substitute for his former teammate Gil Vermouth. He scored his first international goal against Azerbaijan (7 September 2012).[76]

Personal lifeEdit

Natkho is married to Circassian-Israeli Talia Achmiz and together they have three children.[77] His eldest son was born in 2012 and is named after Natkho's late father.

Career statisticsEdit

As of 15 December 2019[78]
Club performance League National Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Israel League State Cup Toto Cup Europe Total
2006–07 Hapoel Tel Aviv Premier League 11 0 4 0 4 0 1 0 20 0
2007–08 26 4 5 0 4 0 8 1 43 5
2008–09 30 1 2 0 7 0 6 0 45 1
2009–10 24 0 1 0 1 0 12 2 38 2
Total Israel 91 5 12 0 16 0 27 3 146 8
Russia League Russian Cup Super Cup Europe Total
2010 Rubin Kazan Premier League 14 2 0 0 0 0 6 0 20 2
2011–12 41 9 3 0 12 4 56 13
2012–13 30 9 0 0 0 0 11 2 41 11
2013–14 19 1 0 0 11 4 30 5
Total Russia 104 21 3 0 40 10 147 31
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
2013–14 PAOK Super League 17 3 3 0 0 0 20 3
Total Greece 17 3 3 0 0 0 20 3
Russia League Russian Cup Super Cup Europe Total
2014–15 CSKA Moscow Premier League 26 12 2 1 0 0 6 1 34 14
2015–16 20 2 3 0 8 0 31 2
2016–17 26 6 1 0 1 0 5 1 33 7
2017–18 29 4 1 0 14 1 44 5
Total Russia 101 24 7 1 1 0 33 3 142 28
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
2018–19 Olympiacos Super League 21 1 5 0 8 0 34 1
Total Greece 21 1 5 0 8 0 34 1
Serbia League Serbian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2019–20 Partizan SuperLiga 19 7 0 0 7 2 26 9
Total Serbia 19 7 0 0 7 2 26 9
Career total 353 61 30 1 17 0 115 18 515 80

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Israel's goal tally first.[79]
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 September 2012 Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan   Azerbaijan 1–0 1–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 9 September 2019 Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia   Slovenia 1–1 2–3 UEFA Euro 2020 qualification

HonorsEdit

PlayerEdit

Club
Hapoel Tel Aviv
Rubin Kazan
CSKA Moscow

IndividualEdit

  • Europa League Team of the Group Stage 2013–14[47]
  • Russian Premier League Top 33 Players: 1st Top Central Midfielder 2014-15,[80] 3rd Top Central Midfielder 2011–12[81]

ReferencesEdit

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  3. ^ http://pt.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=2048453.html
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External linksEdit