Vitaliy Astafiev

Vitaliy Astafiev

Latvian footballer, midfielder.
Date of Birth: 03.04.1971
Country: Latvia

  1. Biography of Vitaly Astafyev
  2. International Career
  3. Controversy

Biography of Vitaly Astafyev

Vitaly Astafyev is a Latvian footballer who played as a midfielder. He began his career in the Soviet Union, playing one game for "Pardaugava" in the first league. From 1992, he played for "Skonto" where he became a key player. In 1996, he moved to "Austria" in Vienna. He ended up in Austria thanks to former "Daugava" player Yevgeny Milevsky, who had become a football agent by that time. He quickly adapted to the team, playing as a starter in his favorite position - behind the forwards. However, he only played one season in Austria. In 1997, he returned to "Skonto" and then left again in 1999 to play for "Bristol Rovers". From 2009, he played for "Olimps/RFSh" and in July 2009, he signed a six-month contract with "Ventspils" club. In 2010, he returned once again to "Skonto".

International Career

Vitaly Astafyev made his debut for the national team on August 26, 1992, in a match against the Danish national team in Riga (0-0). He participated in the 2004 European Championship. On November 17, 2010, before a friendly match against the Chinese national team, Vitaly announced the end of his sports career.


After the match on August 17, 2005, between the Russian and Latvian national teams in the qualifying tournament for the 2006 World Cup (1-1), an interview with the player was published in one of the Riga publications, where he claimed that the Russians had tried to bribe him. This caused a huge public resonance, but later the player claimed that he did not say such things and the newspaper refused to release the audio recording of the interview, resulting in the scandal subsiding. Astafyev apologized to the Russian Football Union, players, and coaches of the Russian national team for his words, explaining that the situation had been caused by an inaccurate translation of his words from Latvian to Russian. Interestingly, at that time, Astafyev was playing for "Rubin" in Kazan, Russia.