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11 Dec, 2008 09:27

Teenager wins footballer of the year

Alan Dzagoev of CSKA was crowned Russian footballer of the year. The 18-year-old from North Ossetia is already making plenty of headlines.

Dzagoev may only be a teenager but his skills and talent have given many reason to think that he could play a major part of Russian football in the future.

In May 2008, CSKA coach Valery Gazzaev changed the line-up, picking striker Dzagoev. The youngster immediately made his presence felt by netting a goal in his very first match as a starter.

Alan's first coach, Yury Naniev, remembers seeing the talent in Dzagoev as a boy.

“I am very happy that everyone is talking about Alan's success these days. But I know for a fact that he is yet to reach his peak performance. I just hope he will continue without injuries. Other than that he's got a great future ahead,” Naniev said.

Dzagoev became a fan's favourite not only for his ability to score goals and make precision passes. He is also a very humble and determined young man who doesn't let fame affect him.

Not many footballers his age can boast about scoring in their debut UEFA cup match.

But this young man scored two against Spain's Deportivo la Corunhia. But Dzagoev is modest, saying he hasn’t “really achieved anything yet”.

“I still have to work on my skills and show a lot of of character. I constantly think about football. Even when I go to bed, I keep running the game through my head. It helps me get better,” Dzagoev said.

Alan Dzagoev is the seventh Russian player to receive the Young footballer of the Year award.

His predecesors include the Russian national team captain Igor Akinfeev and the former Russian international Aleksandr Kerzhakov.

This year's scoring is unprecedented though.

Specialists evaluating the nominees gave the army man 300 points out of 300 available.

Should Alan Dzagoev continue in his impressive ways, he'll soon become the next big player of Russian football.