Synyster Graves

Greatest Player of All Time – Maxim Tsigalko

by on Feb.03, 2011, under Greatest Players of All Time

There's only one Maxim Tsigalko, only one...

Before you think I’m going completely mad, this is more of a reference to the greatest player in the world that is Maxim Tsigalko…in Championship Manager 2001/02. He was a Belarusian striker who you could buy for about £2million from Dinamo Minsk, and within about 2 years, he’s the world’s best striker by far!

Obviously this is total fiction but the player did exist I’m told. So out of curiousity, I did a bit of research on the interweb to see if I could track down the player from Minsk who essentially was a cross between Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres and Kaka. But this guy was AMAZING. I had a season managing PSV and the guy recovered from a fractured spine to score 61 goals in 54 appearances. Yeah I know it’s not real but it’s created an amazing legend even if it was slightly embellished. So I really REALLY wanted to know more about this potentially hidden gem from Belarus.

It was on the most “informative” site on the internet Wikipedia that I found this…(click image for larger view)

Now surely this is a wind up isn’t it? Surely the world acclaimed Maxim Tsigalko doesn’t play for lowly Stranraer in the Scottish Third Division does he?? Alas no, it’s a hoax, and a very funny one at that. I checked out Stranraer FC’s website but not evidence of him being signed there. So where is he?

If you truly do believe Wikipedia as I can’t seem to find out any more information about him, mainly because I can’t read Russian, but I’m not the first person on the internet to look for him. He sort of disappeared off Dinamo Minsk’s books but due my difficulty reading Russian, I couldn’t trace where he went. However, I found this small bio on a website which seems to have done its research really well (Credit to for this excerpt):

“Half way through the 2007 season, Tsigalko left Belarus in search of a fresh start. He resurfaced in Kazakhstan, where he enjoyed limited success at mid-table club, FC Kaisar Kyzylorda. During two seasons in Borat’s home country, he managed just seven goals in 21 matches (that was still the kind of goal average that would have made Bakayoko proud!). Perhaps out of disappointment, or following a reckless bet made on a drunken night on the tiles, Tsigalko then moved to Armenian club FC Banants, who had been runners-up in the domestic championship the previous season. Four matches and two goals later, Maxim realised that the brothels of Yerevan were not such a great attraction after all. He made an abrupt exit, changing clubs for the third time in 2008.

His last stab at top flight football came back in Belarus at newly promoted FC Savit Mogilev, though he couldn’t help them avoid instant relegation. Our favourite striker did manage to score two goals from his six appearances, before disappearing back to the Belarus second division, whence he had emerged six years earlier.

Now 26, Tsigalko is still with Savit Mogilev. To date in his professional career, he scored a total of 55 goals in 134 matches. And while he still has a good few years left in him as a professional, he will probably never live up to the hopes once placed in him. Promising beginnings, a place in the starting XI of his country’s top club, picked for the national team at 20… then nothing. He got out of shape, agreed to some strange transfers, all to end up back in Belarus, playing for a second-rate club. A good player playing in a mediocre championship.”

So there you have it, the player of legend did exist, but definitely doesn’t play in Scotland, otherwise I’d become an overnight Stranraer fan! You often hear about the impact that bringing a player like Beckham, Ronaldinho or Lionel Messi will do to shirt sales and revenue, well if Tsigalko is unattached, then a club should bring him in and inherit the massive fan base he has from the internet alone! That is a coup if I ever heard one!

You want to boost shirt sales Mr Dalglish? Get Maxim in the team! Could you imagine a strike force of Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll, David N’Gog and Maxim Tsigalko? Fernando who?

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2 Comments for this entry

  • The Bear

    I had him in my Anderlecht team. Seven championships in seven years and literally, I would’ve been lucky to win three without him. But alas, the legendary To Madeira did not exist. But the strike force of those two lit up both the Belgian and Swedish leagues for years.

  • Tsigalko

    Really good player he is like a big brother for me.
    I want him to become the president of Sweden.
    We will miss you Tsigalko you are not like the other players today just chasing money. You had a Liverpool, Anderletch and other teams in your heart…
    Can you do me a favor send mine regards to Ndaye, Agahowa and Ibrahim Said.

    Kind regards// CM forever

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