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PORTRAIT – Aleksandr Golovin, a young Tsar on the Rock



Revealed in the eyes of the world during the World Cup, Aleksandr Golovin arrives in Monaco. At the age of 22, the young Russian milieu is pursuing a royal road.

The name of Aleksandr Golovin began to resonate in France last March in the eighth-finals of the Europa League that had opposed his team from CSKA Moscow to Olympique Lyonnais. Author of the opener in the return leg at Groupama Stadium, the young Russian midfielder had then shown the full extent of his talent to a French audience that would still hear about him. After a successful World Cup with the Russian selection, Aleksandr Golovin continued to feed the mercato section of the various international media. Close to Juventus then Chelsea with whom everything seemed practically put together a few days ago, it is finally in Monaco that the young player of 22 years will put down his suitcases. With the promise to integrate very quickly the team of Leonardo Jardim and to turn the sporting and economic model of the vice-champion of France.

A linear ascent

Arrived at CSKA Moscow in 2012, Aleksandr Golovin n ' is only 16 years old. The midfielder then lands in the Kuzbass region of western Siberia, a province far east of the Russian capital. The integration to this new world does not pose a lot of problems to the young football fan very attentive and convinced by his destiny as a footballer. In the space of two years with the young Muscovite teams, "Sascha", as he is nicknamed, attracts the eye of Leonid Slutski, the coach of the time. " It was clear that he had something extra ," recalls Viktor Onopko, former Slutski's deputy now number 2 of Viktor Goncharenko at the head of CSKA. It was also obvious that he had his head on his shoulders and he made very quick progress. Thanks to his will, his seriousness, his ability to listen and to work, he became simply one of the best young players in Europe ".

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 Golovin 2013 Aleksandr Golovin (right) in a Youth League match between Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow in the 2012/2013 season. [19659007] After identifying his technical skills and his sense of the game, the staff of CSKA is fighting another battle: that of the physical upgrade. Slender and rather frail, Aleksandr Golovin must meet the requirements of the Russian championship and imposing templates that compose it. He then imposes additional weight training sessions, works in the room in the margins of collective training and is a place in the rotation of the first team. His sense of purpose and technical qualities combined with his ability to provide high intensity races and counter-efforts made him very much a well-liked member. In June 2015, a few days after having turned 19, Golovin honors his first selection and becomes the greatest hope of his nation.

An ideal profile for Jardim's play project

Identified for several months by Monegasque recruiters, Aleksandr Golovin justifies the investment on several levels. Despite the inflation desired by CSKA Moscow after the World Cup, the club of the Principality rose to the level of the expected offer before redoubling efforts to convince the player of the benefits of an intermediate step before joining a of the biggest clubs in Europe. And for good reason, Golovin corresponds in every respect to the needs of Leonardo Jardim. On the technical front, first of all, where he meets the different phases of the 4-4-2 flat game wanted by the Portuguese technician. " He is an offensive player of course, but he is also very good at doing the thankless job when the team does not have the ball ," said Viktor Onopko. He defends well and performs valuable tactical work ". But its versatility also makes it possible to evolve in modular schemes as Jardim often did last season depending on whether or not he evolves with a number 10. " He can play in the axis or on one side so just as good because he is a tireless workman the coach continues his evolution since 6 years. Attacking and creating are still the tasks he does best .

In an offensive role to replace Thomas Lemar or within the middle pivot, Aleksandr Golovin has all the qualities to establish himself as a key element of the Monegasque eleven. Especially that another part of his personality should appeal to Leonardo Jardim, a fan of hard-working players whom he did not always find in his squad last season. " He is always in training, always 100% because he always wants to prove. When players talk instead of playing, their demands on themselves fall. It is not ready to reach Golovin who knows all that he has yet to accomplish and the path he has left to perform . A path that leads him today to make a stop in Monaco with the firm intention of imitating those who succeed to propel themselves much higher.

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