Andrei Kanchelskis

Andrei Antanasovich Kanchelskis (Ukrainian: Андрій Антанасович Канчельскіс; Russian: Андрей Антанасович Канчельскис; born 23 January 1969) is a Russian professional football manager and former player. He was most recently the manager of Navbahor Namangan in Uzbekistan.

Andrei Kanchelskis
Personal information
Full name Andrei Antanasovich Kanchelskis
Date of birth (1969-01-23) 23 January 1969 (age 52)
Place of birth Kirovohrad, Ukrainian SSR, USSR
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Position(s) Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Dynamo Kyiv 22 (1)
1990–1991 Shakhtar Donetsk 21 (3)
1991–1995 Manchester United 123 (28)
1995–1997 Everton 52 (20)
1997–1998 Fiorentina 26 (2)
1998–2002 Rangers 76 (13)
2001Manchester City (loan) 10 (1)
2002–2003 Southampton 1 (0)
2003 Al Hilal 3 (0)
2004–2005 Saturn Moscow Oblast 39 (4)
2006 Krylia Sovetov 24 (1)
Total 397 (72)
National team
1989–1991 Soviet Union 17 (3)
1992 CIS 6 (0)
1992–1998 Russia 36 (4)
Teams managed
2007–2009 FC Nosta Novotroitsk (general director)
2010 FC Torpedo-ZIL Moscow
2011–2012 FC Ufa
2013–2014 FC Volga Nizhny Novgorod (assistant)
2014 FC Jūrmala
2016 FC Solyaris Moscow
2018–2019 Navbahor Namangan
2019–2020 Navbahor Namangan
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

As a player from 1988 to 2006, he was a right winger, and is remembered for his spells with English clubs Manchester United and Everton, and in Scotland with Rangers. He is the only player in history to have scored in each of the Glasgow, Merseyside and Manchester local derbies.[1] He also played in the top flight of English football with Southampton and Manchester City, as well as also appearing as a professional for Dynamo Kyiv, Shakhtar Donetsk, Fiorentina, Al Hilal, Saturn Moscow Oblast and Krylia Sovetov. He was capped internationally by the Soviet Union, CIS and Russia. He moved into management in 2010 with FC Torpedo-ZIL Moscow after two years as general director of FC Nosta Novotroitsk.

Club career

Early career

Born in Kirovohrad in the Soviet Union's Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to a Lithuanian father and a Russian mother,[2] Kanchelskis started his career with Dynamo Kyiv in 1988 and then went to Shakhtar Donetsk in 1990.[3]

Manchester United

Kanchelskis signed for Manchester United in a £650,000 deal on 26 March 1991 and made his debut in the penultimate league game of the 1990–91 season, which United lost 3–0 to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. At the time of his arrival at Old Trafford, United were in the process of finishing sixth in the Football League First Division and had won the previous season's FA Cup. They won the European Cup Winners' Cup on 15 May 1991, but Kanchelskis was not in the squad. It had been 24 years since their last top division title, and manager Alex Ferguson signed Kanchelskis in a bid to find a fast and skilful right winger.

Kanchelskis won the 1991 European Super Cup with United and wore the number 7 shirt during the match. He was a regular member of the United team, playing in 34 out of 42 league games in the 1991–92 season as United finished second to Leeds United in a title race that they had led for most of the season before being overhauled during the final few weeks. However, compensation for Kanchelskis and his teammates had come at Wembley Stadium on 12 April 1992 when a 1–0 win over Nottingham Forest gave them their first ever Football League Cup triumph. Kanchelskis scored five league goals that season, finding the net eight times in all competitions.[citation needed] His first United goal was against Sheffield United in a 2–0 league win at Old Trafford on 2 November 1991.[4]

In the 1992–93 season, Kanchelskis played on the right flank for the first half of the season before being replaced for the second half of the season by Lee Sharpe, a star of the 1991 Cup Winners' Cup season who returned from long-term injury and illness, with Ryan Giggs now the favoured choice in Sharpe's previous position on the left flank. Nevertheless, Kanchelskis was a key part of the team who won the first ever Premier League title, scoring three goals in 27 league games appearances albeit 13 of these were as a substitute, as United's 26-year league title wait came to an end. He was one of only 13 non-British or Irish players to play on the opening weekend of the Premier League along with Jan Stejskal, United's goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, Robert Warzycha, Roland Nilsson, Eric Cantona (who began the season still with Leeds United before his November arrival at Old Trafford), Hans Segers, John Jensen, Anders Limpar, Gunnar Halle, Craig Forrest, Michel Vonk and Ronnie Rosenthal.

The 1993–94 season brought more success as United won the Premier League title and the FA Cup, and Kanchelskis was now United's first choice right-winger. 1993–94 was also the first season of squad numbers in the Premier League, and Kanchelskis was issued with the number 14 shirt. On the downside, he was sent off in the League Cup final that season for a handball which saw opponents Aston Villa awarded a penalty. United lost that game 3–1, denying them the chance of a unique domestic treble.[citation needed]

Kanchelskis was United's leading goalscorer in the 1994–95 season with 15 goals in 32 games (14 of them in the Premier League), but missed the final few weeks of the season due to a hernia and during that time United surrendered the league title to Blackburn and the FA Cup to Everton. United were also without the suspended Eric Cantona (who was banned for eight months after he assaulted a spectator against Crystal Palace in late January), while Andy Cole was cup-tied for the FA Cup games.

His highlight of the 1994–95 season came on 10 November 1994, when he scored a hat-trick for United in their 5–0 home win over neighbours City in the Manchester derby. He had also found the net twice against Blackburn Rovers in a crucial match at Ewood Park on 24 October which United won 4–2.

Kanchelskis had played 145 times for United and scored 48 goals in the space of four years, but he had fallen out with manager Alex Ferguson earlier in the season and failed to patch up his differences with the manager. He was placed on the transfer list in July 1995 and on his departure, he was eventually replaced on the right-hand side of United's midfield by David Beckham.


Bryan Robson made an unsuccessful bid to sign Kanchelskis for Middlesbrough when it was announced that United would be selling him.[citation needed] In the end, Kanchelskis was sold to Everton just after the start of the 1995–96 season. The £5 million fee paid by manager Joe Royle made him Everton's biggest signing at the time.

His first season with the club saw him score 16 goals to cap a season of excellent performances which made him arguably the best right-winger in the country. He rapidly gained cult status with Everton fans especially after his two goals against rivals Liverpool at Anfield and his performances helped the club to a sixth-place finish, their best finish since 1990, though it wasn't quite enough to secure a UEFA Cup place. He also scored a hat-trick in a 5–2 win at Sheffield Wednesday in April 1996, the first Everton player to score hat-trick in any competition for over two years.[5]

Before Kanchelskis had been able to reproduce that form in his second season he was sold midway through, joining Fiorentina for £8 million in January 1997 (ca. 15 billion Italian Lira).


Kanchelskis signed a three-year deal with Fiorentina for a fee of 15 billion lira (5 billion per year). A hard tackle by Roma defender Vincent Candela ended his 1996–97 season prematurely.[6]

In the third matchday of 1997–98 Serie A, Kanchelskis suffered an ankle injury after a hard tackle from Internazionale defender Taribo West, punished only with a yellow card.[7] Returning to action after 40 days in a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Italy in Moscow, he collided with Gianluca Pagliuca and suffered a fracture in his knee,[8] being sidelined until the end of the season after only contributing with 17 appearances and two goals.

Later career

After struggling to make an impact in Italy, he later went on to play for Rangers (1998–2002),[9] Manchester City (2001) (on loan, scoring once in the FA Cup against Liverpool),[10] Southampton (2002–2003),[11] Al Hilal (2003),[11] FC Saturn Moscow (2004–2005), and Krylia Sovetov (2006).

After leaving Krylia Sovetov he was without a contract and despite expressing interest in continuing playing, he retired on 12 February 2007.[12] He played his last competitive game on 25 November 2006 in Round 30 of the Russian League.[13]

International career

Kanchelskis, who was born to Lithuanian parents in the Ukrainian SSR, was capped 23 times for the Soviet Union (including its brief successor, the CIS), scoring three goals. He scored, in November 1991 in Cyprus, the last goal in Soviet national team history. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union Kanchelskis chose to represent Russia, considered the USSR's official successor team by FIFA.[14]

After leading a player boycott against Russia's head coach Pavel Sadyrin and therefore missing the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the only senior major international tournaments Kanchelskis played in were Euro 92 (for CIS) and Euro 96. Overall, Kanchelskis earned 59 international caps, scoring seven times.

Style of play

Kanchelskis usually played as a right-winger throughout his career, where he was known for his work-rate, pace, explosive acceleration, powerful shot from range, and eye for goal; however, he was not particularly strong in the air. Moreover, he had the ability to run at defenders, put opponents under pressure, and create space for teammates when dribbling with the ball. In addition to his footballing skills, he also stood out for his professionalism, despite his aggressive playing style.[15]

Post-playing career

In 2007, Kanchelskis became the sporting director of Russian 1st division football club FC Nosta Novotroitsk. After Nosta was relegated to the third-tier Russian Second Division, Kanchelskis was appointed in December 2009 as the manager of FC Torpedo-ZIL Moscow. For 2011 season, he moved to FC Ufa. On 31 August 2014, Kanchelskis became the manager of the Latvian Higher League club FC Jūrmala.[16] He left the club in November, failing to avoid relegation.

On 9 October 2018, he was appointed manager of the Uzbek club Navbahor Namangan.[17] In June 2019 he was replaced by Dejan Đurđević but just two months later was re-hired again. In October 2020 he left Navbahor once again.[18]


In his autobiography, Managing My Life, Alex Ferguson alleged that he was offered a £40,000 bribe to sell Kanchelskis. When this was refused, he claimed that death threats were made by Russian agent Grigory Essaoulenko to Martin Edwards, the chairman of Manchester United at the time. There was no suggestion that Everton or Kanchelskis were aware of either the bribe or the threats.[19]


Manchester United


Soviet Union U21



  1. Buckley, Adam (10 November 2010). "Derby day: Kanchelskis remembers his treble". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  2. Bennetts, Marc (2009). Football Dynamo: Modern Russia and the People's Game. London: Virgin Books. p. 207. ISBN 9780753515716.
  3. Harding, John. "Andrei Kanchelskis". The Professional Footballers Association. Retrieved 7 November 2008.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "ToffeeWeb - History - Everton Hat-tricks".
  6. "Infermeria piena a Firenze: anche Kanchelskis si infortuna" [Fiorentina's infirmary is full: Kanchelskis is injured, too] (in Italian). Milan: La Gazzetta dello Sport. 30 May 1997. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  7. "I Viola: "West da espulsione"" [West deserved a red card] (in Italian). Rome: La Repubblica. 22 September 1997. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  8. "Brutta sorpresa: a Mosca si è fratturato Kanchelskis" [Bad surprise: Kanchelskis broke a knee in Moscow] (in Italian). Milan: Corriere della Sera. 1 November 1997. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  9. "Sport: Football – Kanchelskis move to Rangers". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 July 1998. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  10. "Liverpool too slick for City". BBC. 18 February 2001. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  11. "Saints offload Kanchelskis". BBC Sport. 6 February 2003. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  12. "Kanchelskis calls time on career". BBC. 12 February 2007.
  13. Russia 2006 First Level – Match Details Archived 16 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. Arnhold, Matthias (21 January 2006). "Andrei Antanasovich Kanchelskis - International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  15. O'Hagan, Simon (2 April 1994). "Football: A winger's life on the outside: Simon O'Hagan meets the". The Independent. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  16. "Soccer-Former United winger Kanchelskis in charge of Latvian club". Reuters.
  17. "Канчельскис ҳақида тўлиқ маълумот" (in Uzbek). Navbahor Namangan. 9 October 2018. Archived from the original on 10 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  18. "Канчельскис во второй раз покинул "Навбахор"" [Kanchelskis left Navbahor for the second time] (in Russian). Sportbox. 15 October 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  19. "Man Utd boss 'was offered bribe'". BBC Sport. 2 August 1999.
  20. "Andrei Kanchelskis: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 17 April 2018.