Ilyos Zeytulayev

Ilyos Zeytulayev[1] (Uzbek: Илёс Зейтулаев, born 13 August 1984) is an Uzbek retired footballer who played as a midfielder or as a forward.

Ilyos Zeytulayev
Personal information
Full name Ilyos Zeytulayev
Date of birth (1984-08-13) 13 August 1984 (age 36)
Place of birth Angren, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s) Midfielder, Forward
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2005 Juventus 0 (0)
2005–2007 Reggina 2 (0)
2006Crotone (loan) 13 (3)
2006–2007Genoa (loan) 12 (0)
2007Vicenza (loan) 6 (0)
2007–2008 Verona 13 (1)
2008–2009 Pescara 28 (7)
2009–2013 Lanciano 52 (1)
2014 Torino 0 (0)
2014HNK Gorica (loan)
2015–2018 Cupello
National team
2001–2007 Uzbekistan 10 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 November 2011

Zeytulayev has spent most of his career in the Italian Serie B and Lega Pro Prima Divisione (formerly Serie C1). His first name is sometimes spelled Illyos, or Ilyas (Cyrillic: Ильяс), the latter of which is the Russian equivalent. Moreover, Zeytulayev is also romanized as Zeytulaev.

Club career

Zeytulayev started his professional career in the Juventus youth teams along with Serhiy Kovalenko and Viktor Budyanskiy, making him the first Uzbekistani player to play in Italy. He signed a 5-year contract on 10 August 2001.[2] He joined Juve permanently in February 2002 along with Kovalenko after a loan from Sportakademklub Moscow, the team he played since he was 13.[3] The Turin club paid US$400,000 (about €454K) to buy the duo's image and registration rights.[4] He also played both legs against Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia 2001–02.

Reggina and various loans

After graduating from the U20 team in June, along with Viktor Budyanskiy, they were unable to register as a Juve players. At first, FIGC declared that their remaining 2-year contracts did not fulfill the regulations and voided them. The FIGC declared that they had been on youth contracts which could only run for a maximum of 3 years. In addition, a non-EU player at that time could not sign a contract extension. Thus they were released. However, after an appeal, the appeal community stated that a foreigner could sign a professional contract regardless his age, and FIGC regulations only protected domestic youth products who can only sign a contract for more than 3 years after the age of 18.[2] They were transferred to Reggina for €1K to co-own the players in January 2005,[5] He played in his first Serie A match on 19 March 2005, coming on as a substitute for Marco Borriello in the 75th minutes against his first club Juve. The match ended in a 0–1 loss. In June 2005, Juventus bought back Budyanskiy for €0.5K, while Reggina signed Zeytulayev permanently for the same price.

After not playing in the 2005–06 Serie A, in January 2006 he was loaned out to Serie B side Crotone. In 2006–07 season, he was loaned out again, this time to Genoa[6] and Vicenza of Serie B (as an exchange with Ivan Castiglia).[7]

Lega Pro Prima Divisione

In July 2007, he left for Verona of Serie C1.[8] But after a poor season, he left for Pescara on a free transfer.[9] There, he became a regular member of the team. In August 2009, he signed a 3-year contract with Lanciano as a free agent.[10] In his first season, he only made 14 league appearances, but in 2010–11 season, he started a successive 5 league games for the team, as one of the strikers in a 4-3-3 formation, along with Luís Gabriel Sacilotto to partner with Umberto Improta or Francesco Di Gennaro.

Late career

In January 2014 Zeytulayev was signed by Torino F.C.. However, the signing was aiming solely to exploit the mechanism of the non-EU signing of the league.[citation needed] On 4 February 2014 Zeytulayev joined Croatian club HNK Gorica in a temporary deal.[11] In the same window Torino signed Marko Vešović from Serbia.[12]

In 2015 he moved back to Italy, joining Eccellenza amateurs Cupello,[13] also becoming a youth coach for the team.[14]

International career

Zeytulayev has been capped for Uzbekistan U20 team in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. He also played for the Uzbekistan national football team in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification, 2004 AFC Asian Cup and 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification. He was named in the squad for friendlies before 2007 AFC Asian Cup in March 2007.[15] In March 2009, he was recalled to national team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification in March 2009[16][17] but did not play.

Career statistics

International statistics


  1. "Hal qiluvchi uchrashuv" (in Uzbek). Uzbekistan National News Agency. 11 November 2006. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  2. "COMUNICATI UFFICIALI N. 23/C" (PDF). Commissione d'appello federale, FIGC (in Italian). 13 December 2004.
  3. "Pescara, le confessioni di Zeytulaev" (in Italian). 6 October 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  4. "Six-Monthly Report at 31 December 2001" (PDF). Juventus FC. 22 April 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  5. "Reports and Financial Statements at 30 June 2005" (PDF). Juventus FC. 25 October 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  6. "Zeytulaev inks deal with Genoa". Asian Football Confederation. 11 September 2006. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  7. "Ufficialmente conclusa la tre giorni del Calciomercato". Vicenza Calcio (in Italian). 31 January 2007. Archived from the original on 2 April 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  8. Christian Seu (30 July 2007). "L'ex juventuno Zeytulaev per il Verona". (in Italian). Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  9. Mario Ciampi (9 July 2008). "UFFICIALE: Zeytulaev al Pescara". (in Italian). Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  10. "La Virtus rilancia: Zeytulaev è rossonero!". SS Virtus Lanciano 1924 (in Italian). 1 August 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  11. "Nova imena i novi "look" Gorice" (in Croatian). HNK Gorica. 4 February 2014. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  12. "Torino: Zeytulaev, l'extracomunitario che farà posto a Vesovic" (in Italian). Tuttosport. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  13. "ECCELLENZA – CUPELLO, C'E' LA FIRMA DI ZEYTULAEV". Abruzzo Calcio Dilettanti. 26 September 2015. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  14. "Ilyas Zeytulayev "Gasperini pronto per la Juve"". JuventusNews24. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  15. "Uzbekistan National team will play several friendly matches in coming months". Uzbekistan National News Agency. 6 March 2007. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  16. "UZB v QAT: All or nothing for Kasimov". Uzbekistan Football Federation. 7 March 2009. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  17. "Қосимов 27 та футболчини таклиф қилди". Uzbekistan Football Federation (in Uzbek). 7 March 2009. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  18. 一剑 (7 March 2007). 友谊赛:韩鹏准帽子戏法 中国3比1力克中亚狼. 腾讯体育 (QQ Sports) (in Chinese). Retrieved 16 February 2010.