Māris Verpakovskis

Māris Verpakovskis (born 15 October 1979), is a Latvian retired professional footballer who played as a striker. He represented the Latvia national team at UEFA Euro 2004 and is the only Latvian player to score at the end stage of a major international football tournament.

Māris Verpakovskis
Māris Verpakovskis.jpg
Verpakovskis playing for Latvia in 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1979-10-15) 15 October 1979 (age 43)
Place of birth Liepāja, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Latvia)
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Rīgas FS (Director of football)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1996 FK Baltika 3 (0)
1996–2001 FK Liepājas Metalurgs 59 (10)
2001–2003 Skonto FC 77 (41)
2003–2011 Dynamo Kyiv 49 (11)
2007Getafe (loan) 13 (1)
2007–2008Hajduk Split (loan) 18 (5)
2008Celta de Vigo (loan) 8 (0)
2009–2011Ergotelis (loan) 47 (7)
2011–2013 FC Baku 27 (3)
2013–2014 Ergotelis 28 (5)
2014–2015 FK Liepāja 9 (1)
2017 FK Karosta 0 (0)
2019 Caramba Riga 0 (0)
2022 FK PPK/Betsafe 1 (0)
Total 338 (84)
International career
1999–2014[1] Latvia 104 (29)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Club careerEdit

LatviaEdit

Born in Liepāja, Latvia, Verpakovskis started his career in hometown club FK Liepājas Metalurgs, for which he played from 1995 till 2001 and scored ten goals in 59 appearances. In 2001 Verpakovskis joined another Latvian side, Skonto Riga, where he scored 41 goals in 77 appearances. This period of time is known for being the peak of Verpakovskis's career. His performances were being recognized by many top European clubs, and in the late 2003 he signed a contract with the Ukrainian top team Dynamo Kyiv.

Dynamo KyivEdit

Soon after joining, Verpakovskis quickly earned his spot in starting 11, scoring five goals in 11 appearances. He scored his first UEFA Champions League goal against the Turkish club Trabzonspor, which helped Dynamo Kyiv qualify for the next round and later Verpakovskis also scored a goal against Real Madrid in the group stage, helping to earn a 2–2 draw in Kyiv. Verpakovskis scored a total of three goals in the Champions League. After being honored as the Dynamo Kyiv's best player of 2004 by team fans his career slowly started to decline, majorly due to a conflict with Dynamo's former coach Yozhef Sabo.[2] From that time Verpakovkis had been loaned out for several seasons in a row, as his contract with Dynamo was still active.

LoansEdit

In 2007 Verpakovskis made a promising move to Spain, after he was signed on a loan deal by Getafe.[3] Amid high competition for a place in the starting line-up, Verpakovskis scored one goal in 13 appearances. Right after returning from Spain, Verpakovskis was loaned to HNK Hajduk Split from Croatia, along with his Dynamo team-mates Florin Cernat and Goran Sablić.[4] Verpakovskis had a good season in Hajduk, scoring five goals in 18 appearances and played the key role in team's victories. In early 2008 he suffered an injury and did not play for the remaining time of his loan at Hajduk Split. He made a short comeback to Kyiv during the summer of 2008. Verpakovskis was on a loan term with Spanish side Celta de Vigo for the 2008–09 season, playing eight league matches and scoring no goals. In 2009, Verpakovskis had to extend his contract with Dynamo Kyiv for two years and the Greek Super League club Ergotelis signed him on a two-year loan.[5] During those two years Verpakovskis played 46 league games and scored seven goals for the club. After the season, in 2011, his loan spell ended and he returned to Kyiv.[6]

FK BakuEdit

In 2011 Verpakovskis signed a contract with Azerbaijan Premier League club FC Baku for one season with an option to extend it for another one alongside his international team-mate Deniss Ivanovs.[7] In his first season there Verpakovskis scored three goals in 19 league matches and it was decided by the club's board that the contract would be extended for another season. Verpakovskis renewed his contract in June 2012.[8] The next season was not successful for the Latvian international as he saw himself lose the place in the starting eleven, making only eight league appearances and scoring no goals. Despite scoring two goals and helping Baku grab a 3–1 victory over Sumgayit FK in the 1/8 finals of the Azerbaijan Cup on 28 November 2012,[9] Verpakovskis left the club in January 2013.[10]

ErgotelisEdit

On 30 January 2013, rumours in the Greek and Latvian media appeared that Verpakovskis could rejoin the Greek Football League club Ergotelis.[11] This information was officially confirmed by the club and the player one day later - on 31 January 2013.[12] Verpakovskis made his return debut for the club on 20 February 2013 in a league match against Doxa Drama.[13] On 29 April 2013, Verpakovskis scored both goals in his club's 2–0 league victory over Olympiacos Volou.[14] Verpakovskis then scored in the last match of the season on 26 May 2013 to secure a 1–1 draw against Niki Volos. This goal and point secured Ergotelis a return to the Super League Greece.[15] Verpakovskis made his Super League return debut on 26 August 2013 in a 2–0 victory over Levadiakos.[16] He scored his first goal since return to the Superliga on 2 November 2013 in a 2–1 loss to P.A.O.K.[17] On 10 November 2013, Verpakovskis scored for the second consecutive Superliga match in a row, helping Ergotelis secure a 3–1 victory over Panthrakikos.[18] In mid-season, January 2014, Verpakovskis informed Ergotelis that he was planning to retire in order to return to Latvia and jointly participate in establishment of a new football club in his local city Liepāja after the city's former club Liepājas Metalurgs had been dissolved.[19] On 27 January 2014, he played his last match for Ergotelis as the club lost 1–0 to Panetolikos with Verpakovskis coming on as a late match substitute. After the game Verpakovskis was honoured by his teammates and the club's staff with the president Giannis Daskalakis handing him a special "Verpakovskis" jersey of Ergotelis and stating that "Ergotelis will be Verpakovskis' team for life and Heraklion is the place where Māris can always find his second family."[20] Over one and a half season in Greece Verpakovskis had participated in 28 league matches and scored five goals. In a later interview Verpakovskis revealed that he had wished to finish the season in Greece but due to the limited time for establishment of a club he was forced to return to Latvia as soon as possible.[21]

FK LiepājaEdit

On 23 January 2014, the establishment of the newly founded Latvian Higher League club FK Liepāja was officially announced, and following his return from Greece Verpakovkis took office as the club's president.[22] Besides the administrative work he still retains an active player's status. During the 2014 season Verpakovskis appeared in nine league matches and scored one goal. He left the club in November 2018.

Riga FCEdit

A few days after leaving FK Liepāja, Verpakovskis was hired as director of football at Riga FC.[23] It was confirmed on 25 November 2018.

On 31 May 2019, Verpakovskis played a game for FC Caramba Riga, playing 45 minutes and scoring a goal in a 4–0 victory, helping the team to reach the second leg of the Latvian Cup.[24]

International careerEdit

Verpakovskis made his debut for the Latvia national team on 9 September 1999 in a 2–1 victory over Greece, scoring in that match.[25] He rose to international prominence as the highest goalscorer for Latvia in their successful UEFA Euro 2004 qualification campaign, with six goals in ten matches. He scored once for Latvia in Euro 2004 and nearly scored what could have been a candidate for goal of the tournament against Germany, dribbling on a weaving run from the halfway line and beating four German players.

Verpakovskis was Latvia's top scorer in FIFA World Cup 2006 qualification, UEFA Euro 2008 qualification, as well as the FIFA World Cup 2010 qualification.[26] In September 2013, Verpakovskis won his 100th cap for the Latvian national team in a 1–0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Greece.[27] On 29 May 2014, Verpakovskis played his last international match as Latvia beat Estonia in the semi-finals of the 2014 Baltic Cup. He was symbolically substituted by Edgars Gauračs just 13 minutes into the game and honoured by his teammates, national team's staff and supporters.[28] After his retirement the national team's manager Marians Pahars referred to Verpakovskis as "a national team legend".[29] All in all, internationally Verpakovskis has been capped 104 times for Latvia, scoring 29 goals. He is Latvia's all-time best scorer.

Verpakovskis is regarded as the most popular Latvian footballer having surpassed Marians Pahars as his country's most recognisable player.[citation needed] He is the leading all-time top goal scorer for Latvia, with 29 goals (As of 15 January 2015).

Personal lifeEdit

Verpakovskis is the son of Ilmārs Verpakovskis, a Latvian footballer active from 1979 until 1996. Verpakovskis was managed by his father who was player-manager for FK Liepājas Metalurgs in 1994.[30] The Verpakovskis are the only father-son pair to both play for the Latvia national team.[31]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Baltika Liepāja 1996 Latvian Higher League 3 0 3 0
Liepājas Metalurgs 1997 Latvian Higher League 6 0 6 0
1998 16 2 16 2
1999 21 5 21 5
2000 16 3 16 3
Total 59 10 59 10
Skonto 2001 Latvian Higher League 27 10 27 10
2002 25 9 25 9
2003 25 22 25 22
Total 77 41 77 41
Dynamo Kyiv 2003–04 Premier League 11 5 2 1 0 0 13 6
2004–05 23 4 6 3 9 2 38 9
2005–06 9 1 3 2 1 0 13 3
2006–07 6 1 1 0 3 1 10 2
Total 49 11 12 6 13 3 74 20
Getafe (loan) 2006–07 La Liga 13 1 5 1 18 2
Hajduk Split (loan) 2007–08 Prva HNL 18 5 4 0 1 0 23 5
Celta (loan) 2008–09 Segunda División 8 0 2 0 10 0
Ergotelis (loan) 2009–10 Super League 22 3 2 1 24 4
2010–11 25 4 1 0 26 4
Total 47 7 3 1 0 0 50 8
Baku 2011–12 Premier League 19 3 3 0 22 3
2012–13 8 0 1 2 2 0 11 2
Total 27 3 4 2 2 0 33 5
Ergotelis 2012–13 Football League 18 3 18 3
2013–14 Super League 10 2 2 0 12 2
Total 28 5 2 0 0 0 30 5
Liepāja 2014 Latvian Higher League 9 1 1 2 10 3
2015 0 0 1 1 1 1
Total 9 1 2 3 0 0 11 4
Career total 338 84 34 13 16 3 388 100

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Latvia's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Verpakovskis goal.
List of international goals scored by Māris Verpakovskis
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 9 June 1999 Athens, Greece   Greece 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2000 Qualifying
2 28 February 2001 Vaduz, Liechtenstein   Liechtenstein 2–0 2–0 Friendly
3 3 July 2001 Riga, Latvia   Estonia 1–0 3–1 Baltic Cup 2001
4 21 August 2002 Riga, Latvia   Belarus 1–1 2–4 Friendly
5 7 June 2003 Budapest, Hungary   Hungary 1–0 1–3 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
6 10 September 2003 Riga, Latvia   Hungary 1–0 3–1 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
7 3–0
8 11 October 2003 Stockholm, Sweden   Sweden 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
9 15 November 2003 Riga, Latvia   Turkey 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
10 19 November 2003 Istanbul, Turkey   Turkey 2–2 2–2 UEFA Euro 2004 Qualifying
11 31 March 2004 Celje, Slovenia   Slovenia 1–0 1–0 Friendly
12 6 June 2004 Riga, Latvia   Azerbaijan 1–0 2–2 Friendly
13 15 June 2004 Aveiro, Portugal   Czech Republic 1–0 1–2 UEFA Euro 2004
14 8 September 2004 Luxembourg, Luxembourg   Luxembourg 1–0 4–3 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
15 9 October 2004 Bratislava, Slovakia   Slovakia 1–0 1–4 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
16 17 November 2004 Vaduz, Liechtenstein   Liechtenstein 1–0 3–0 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
17 30 March 2005 Riga, Latvia   Luxembourg 3–0 4–0 FIFA World Cup 2006 Qualifying
18 4–0
19 7 October 2006 Riga, Latvia   Iceland 2–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
20 3–0
21 13 October 2007 Reykjavík, Iceland   Iceland 3–1 4–2 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
22 4–1
23 17 November 2007 Riga, Latvia   Liechtenstein 2–1 4–1 UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying
24 1 April 2009 Riga, Latvia   Luxembourg 2–0 2–0 FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying
25 10 October 2009 Athens, Greece   Greece 1–1 2–5 FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying
26 2–1
27 7 September 2010 Ta' Qali, Malta   Malta 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
28 9 February 2011 Antalya, Turkey   Bolivia 1–0 2–1 Friendly
29 12 October 2012 Bratislava, Slovakia   Slovakia 1–2 1–2 FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifying

HonoursEdit

Skonto FC

Dynamo Kyiv

FC Baku

FK Liepāja

Latvia

Individual

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Maris Verpakovskis - Goals in International Matches". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. ^ Apollo – Sports: Verpakovskis – Kijevas «Dinamo» gada futbolists. Apollo.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  3. ^ Verpakovskis 'Getafe' spēlēs vismaz pusgadu (papildināts) – DELFI. Delfi.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  4. ^ Verpakovskis pagarina līgumu ar "Dynamo", bet spēlēs "Hajduk" – Futbols –. Sportacentrs.com (18 July 2007). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  5. ^ Verpakovskis nākamās divas sezonas spēlēs Grieķijas klubā ‘Ergotelis’ – DELFI. Sports.delfi.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  6. ^ Verpakovskis atstāj Hēraklejas "Ergotelis" – Leģionāri – Futbols –. Sportacentrs.com (31 May 2011). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  7. ^ Verpakovskis parakstījis līgumu ar Starkova "Baku" – Leģionāri – Futbols –. Sportacentrs.com (30 June 2011). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Verpakovskis arī nākamsezon spēlēs Baku". 6 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Verpakovskim divi vārti (+video)". 28 November 2012.
  10. ^ ""Baku" briest pārmaiņas, Verpakovskis un Ivanovs janvārī var zaudēt darbu". 5 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Verpakovskis varētu atgriezties "Ergotelis"". 30 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Oficiāli: Verpakovskis vienojies ar "Ergotelis"". 31 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Verpakovskis trāpa pa pārliktni, Lukjanovs atrādās Polijā". 20 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Verpakovskim divi vārti Grieķijā". Sportacentrs.com. 29 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Verpakovskim vārti, "Ergotelis" atgriežas Grieķijas Superlīgā". 26 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Futbols / Diena". www.diena.lv.
  17. ^ "Verpakovskim sezonas pirmie vārti Grieķijā, E.Višņakovam - astotie Polijā". 2 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Verpakovskis gūst vēl vienus vārtus un izprovocē noraidījumu". 10 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Sports / Diena". www.diena.lv.
  20. ^ "Verpakovskis iziet uz maiņu un atvadās no "Ergotelis"". 27 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Verpakovskis: vēlējos sezonu pabeigt Grieķijā, taču jādodas prom jau tagad".
  22. ^ "Papildināts (16:48) – Virslīgā spēlēs FK "Liepāja"".
  23. ^ Verpakovskis RFS ģenerāldirektora amatā oficiāli nomaina Krivuņecu, sports.tvnet.lv, 25 November 2018
  24. ^ Verpakovskis ar vārtu guvumu Latvijas kausā palīdz "Caramba" sagraut "Limbažus", sportacentrs.com, 31 May 2019
  25. ^ Lff: Māris Verpakovskis. Lff.lv (15 October 1979). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  26. ^ "Māris Verpakovskis · Latvia · Group F · Euro 2008 Net". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  27. ^ "Verpakovskis proud of 100 for Latvia". FIFA. 16 October 2013.
  28. ^ "Verpakovskis noslēdz krāšņo karjeru Latvijas izlasē". nra.lv.
  29. ^ "Pahars: "Verpakovskis ir izlases leģenda"". 30 May 2014.
  30. ^ "Марис Верпаковскис: "Хочешь играть в "основе" - будь лучшим в тренировках" - ПРО ФУТБОЛ". www.profootball.ua. 22 August 2005.
  31. ^ "Verpakovskis: Vislabākais veids, kā noslēgt karjeru, ir mājās". Sports. 2 November 2015.
  32. ^ Eiropas cilvēks Latvijā – Māris Verpakovskis. Diena.lv. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  33. ^ "Verpakovskis līdzjutēju aptaujā atzīts par gada labāko Kijevas "Dinamo" futbolistu". Sports. 20 December 2004.

External linksEdit