Jānis Ikaunieks (footballer)
Jānis Ikaunieks (born 16 February 1995 in Kuldīga) is a Latvian professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Rīgas FS in the Latvian Higher League and the Latvia national football team.
|Full name||Jānis Ikaunieks|
|Date of birth||16 February 1995|
|Place of birth||Kuldīga, Latvia|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Attacking midfielder|
|2017||→ AEL (loan)||10||(1)|
|2017–2018||→ FK Liepāja (loan)||6||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 August 2020|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 October 2019
As a youth player he played for the youth teams of Liepājas Metalurgs. Ikaunieks scored 11 goals in 20 matches in the 2012 First League season contributing to Liepājas Metalurgs II winning the championship. In 2013, he was promoted to the first team. On 7 April 2013, he made his debut in the Higher League in a 1–2 defeat against FK Daugava. Throughout his professional debut season, Ikaunieks played 19 league matches and scored three goals. After the end of the season the club was dissolved, due to financial difficulties, and as a result Ikaunieks alongside other players transferred to its successor, the newly established FK Liepāja.
Starting the season as a nominal substitute, Ikaunieks strikingly rose to the first eleven and was named Higher League player of the month in May. On 11 June 2014, Ikaunieks scored four goals in a 7–0 victory over FC Jūrmala. All in all, he scored 23 goals in 32 league matches and became the second top scorer of the championship behind Vladislavs Gutkovskis from Skonto. In August 2014, Ikaunieks went on trial with the Croatian Prva HNL champions Dinamo Zagreb. In September, he was named player of the month for the second time in the season. In October, explicit interest in the player was reported from Ajax, Metz, VfB Stuttgart and Udinese Calcio. On 5 December 2014, Ikaunieks was named the best midfielder of the season and was simultaneously voted as the best player of the 2014 Higher League.
On 23 December 2014, Metz chairman Bernard Serin confirmed that Ikaunieks would join the Ligue 1 side on a four-year deal. The transfer on an undisclosed fee was officially affirmed on 7 January 2015. Ikaunieks made his debut for Metz’ first team on 20 January 2015, coming on as a substitute in the Coupe de France 1/16 finals match victory over US Avranches. He made his Ligue 1 debut in a 0–0 draw against Nice on 31 January.
In December 2016, Ikaunieks joined Greek Superleague team AEL on a six-month loan deal. On 4 January 2017, Ikaunieks made his debut in a 2–1 victory over Veria. On 18 January, against Veria once again, he scored his only goal for AEL in a match that ended 1–1. Reportedly, there was no buy option in the loan agreement and thus he returned to Metz at the end of the season.
On 15 June 2017, it was announced that Ikaunieks had returned to FK Liepāja, while on loan from Metz. He made his first match on 18 June, in a 1–0 victory over Ventspils. He only managed to make a total of seven matches, six in the league and in the cup final in which Liepāja lifted the trophy against Riga FC, due to being out for two months after suffering from a metatarsal fracture. After the conclusion of his loan deal, Ikaunieks joined Liepāja on a permanent basis.
He instantly became an important asset in the 2018 Higher League season, scoring nine goals in 17 matches as well as being involved in the assistance of three goals. Once again being unlucky with injuries, he suffered from a shoulder injury at the end of August and was out for about three months.
On 11 February 2020, Ikaunieks signed for Norwegian Eliteserien team Strømsgodset. He made his debut on 17 June against IK Start in a 2–2 draw. On 1 August 2020, having spent only a few months with the team and having only played six matches, Ikaunieks and Strømsgodset agreed on mutual termination of the contract.
Ikaunieks was a member of the Latvia U18, Latvia U19 and Latvia U21 national teams. He made his debut for Latvia on 13 October 2014, playing the entire 90 minutes in a 1–1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying draw against Turkey. It was later calculated that he had repeated the record of Māris Verpakovskis who debuted in 1999, being exactly 19 years, 7 months and 25 days old. On 29 March 2016, in a 5–0 friendly victory over Gibraltar, Ikaunieks scored his first two goals for his country.
|FK Liepājas Metalurgs||2013||Higher League||19||3||3||0||1||0||—||23||3|
|FK Liepāja||2017||Higher League||6||0||1||0||0||0||—||7||0|
|Rīgas FS||2020||Higher League||1||0||0||0||0||0||—||1||0|
- Scores and results list Latvia's goal tally first.
|1.||29 March 2016||Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar||Gibraltar||1–0||5–0||Friendly|
|3.||2 June 2018||Daugava Stadium, Riga, Latvia||Estonia||1–0||1–0||2018 Baltic Cup|
Liepājas Metalurgs II
- Latvian First League: 2012
- "Norvēģiju priekšlaicīgi atstājušais Ikaunieks pievienojies RFS | Ziņas | LETA". www.leta.lv. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
- "Virslīgā spēlēs FK "Liepāja"". liepajniekiem.lv. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Virslīgas labākie maijā - J.Ikaunieks un Beškarevs". sportacentrs.com. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Jānim Ikauniekam pokers, "Liepāja" ar 7:0 pazemo "Jūrmalu"". liepajniekiem.lv. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Zagrebas "Dinamo" interesējas par J.Ikaunieku". nra.lv. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Labākie septembrī - Jānis Ikaunieks un Viktors Dobrecovs". sportacentrs.com. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Stuttgart an Ikaunieks dran?". n24.de. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Jānis Ikaunieks - Latvijas "SMScredit.lv Virslīgas" labākais pussargs un futbolists". liepajniekiem.lv. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Bernard Serin: "Albert Cartier et son staff ont toute ma confiance"" (in French). wort.lu. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "Jānis Ikaunieks debitē, "Metz" tikai pagarinājumā uzvar 3. līgas klubu". sportacentrs.com. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Janis Ikaunieks (Metz) transféré à Larissa". www.lequipe.fr. 27 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- Αποστόλου, Κυριάκος. "Βρήκε ομάδα ο Ικάουνιεκς!" (in Greek). Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- "Godset-spiller Janis Ikaunieks løst fra kontrakten". Drammen Live24 (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- "Latvija-Turcija (1:1)". lff.lv. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Ikaunieks atkārto Verpakovska vecuma rekordu debijā izlasē". irliepaja.lv. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- Jānis Ikaunieks at Soccerway. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- Jānis Ikaunieks at Soccerway. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- "Ikaunieks, Jānis". National Football Teams. Retrieved 7 June 2018.