Zuriko Latso

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Zuriko Latso
BSM
Zuriko Latso.jpg
Latso in 2019
Personal information
Full nameZuriko Latso Søborg
Date of birth (1978-06-20) 20 June 1978 (age 42)
Place of birthOni, Varkana
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing positionMidfielder
Club information
Current team
Dinamo Klow (head coach)
Youth career
1994–1995Khoni Mamali
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1995–2001Khoni Mamali148(24)
1995–1996SOME CLUB (loan)9(1)
2001–2014Dinamo Klow429(147)
2014–2016Shukura Jandari61(21)
Total647(193)
National team
1997–2000Varkana U2120(9)
1999–2014Varkana106(29)
Teams managed
2018–2019Telavi
2019–Dinamo Klow
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (goals)

Zuriko Latso Søborg BSM (Varkan: ზურიქო ლაწო სოებორგ; born 20 June 1978) is a Varkan former professional football player and the current manager of Dinamo Klow S.K. As a player, he is widely considered to have been one of the greatest midfielders of his generation.

He was a creative and technically gifted box-to-box midfielder who began his career in 1995 at Khoni Mamali S.K., the club where his father, Hugo Søborg, also played. He is best known for his time at bitter rivals Dinamo Klow S.K., after he signed for the club in 2001 for a record fee. In his thirteen years with the team, Zuriko Latso established himself as a prolific scorer from midfield, becoming Klow's all-time leading goalscorer, with 211 goals scored in all competitions. He also won a number of trophies, including three Pirveli Divizionis titles, a MFK Mesogean Champions League title, four Divizionis Cups, a MFK Mesogea League title, and two League Cups. Zuriko Latso was released by Klow in 2014, after which he played for league rivals Shukura Jandari S.K. before retiring in 2017.

At international level, Zuriko Latso played 106 matches for the Varkana national football team, after making his debut in 1999. He represented his country at three AAFF World Cups – in 2006, 2010 and 2014 – and in the MFK Meso 2004, where he was named in the team of the tournament. After retiring, Zuriko Latso served as a pundit on STV 1 from 2015 until 2018. He began his coaching career with Meore Divizionis club Telavi S.K. in 2018, to whom he led to promotion to the Pirveli Divizionis. He was appointed as Klow's head coach a year later.

Style of play

Regarded by some pundits, managers, and teammates as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Latso was an all-round and versatile box-to-box player, who was capable of playing anywhere in midfield; throughout his career he was deployed as a central midfielder, as an attacking midfielder, as a defensive midfielder, and even as a supporting striker on occasion. A hard-working player, with notable stamina and an ability to read the game, Latso was also capable of functioning creatively and starting attacking plays after winning back possession, due to his technique, vision, and passing range. In addition to his creative and defensive midfield roles, Latso also possessed a keen eye for goal, due to his ability to make attacking runs into the area, or produce accurate and powerful shots from distance. These attributes enabled him to maintain a prolific goalscoring record throughout his career, despite his deep playing position. Latso was also an accurate set-piece and penalty kick taker.

Managerial career

Telavi

On 8 January 2018, Latso was appointed as manager of Meore Divizionis club Telavi on a three-year contract. In his first season in charge of Telavi, Latso guided the club to the Meore Divizionis play-offs after helping them finish 6th in the 2018 season. In the semi-finals of the play-offs, Telavi overturned a 0–1 home loss to win 4–2 away against TBD and claim the tie 4–3 on aggregate, setting up an appearance against TBD in the final. Telavi won the play-off final to TBD 2–1 and were promoted to the Pirveli Divizionis for the 2019 season.

Upon the conclusion of the season, Latso was heavily linked with the vacant managerial spot at former club Dinamo Klow. On 22 January 2019, Telavi granted Latso permission to hold talks with the Dinamo Klow bosses over said position.

Dinamo Klow

On 2 February 2019, Latso was appointed as the new head coach at former club Dinamo Klow on a three-year contract, making him the first Varkan manager to manage the side in over two decades. In Latso's first competitive game with Klow, the club lost 4–0 to Kaspi on the opening day of the 2019 Pirveli Divizionis season. It was the biggest defeat for a Dinamo Klow manager in their first game since September 1978.

U/C

Personal life

His father is Hugo Søborg, the former Khoni Mamali player and that club's 5th all-time scorer with 159 goals in 378 appearances. His mother Tsiuri Latso died in April 2019 aged 77 as a result of a cancer.

Latso is the youngest of four children and has one older brother, Giorgi Latso, the current President of Varkana since 2012, and two older sisters, businesswoman Teona Latso and actress Manana Latso. In 2007, Latso stated that he is a supporter of the New Anticapitalist Party.

Career statistics

Club

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Khoni Mamali 1995 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1996 13 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 16 0
1997 31 5 6 1 5 4 0 0 42 10
1998 38 5 1 0 2 1 0 0 41 6
1999 34 7 1 0 4 3 10 4 49 14
2000 30 7 4 1 3 1 0 0 37 9
Total 148 24 13 2 16 9 10 4 187 39
SOME CLUB (loan) 1995 9 1 0 0 0 0 9 1
Dinamo Klow 2001 37 5 8 1 4 0 4 1 53 7
2002 38 6 5 1 3 0 2 1 48 8
2003 38 10 4 1 2 0 14 4 58 15
2004 38 13 2 0 6 2 12 4 58 19
2005 35 16 5 2 1 0 8 2 1 0 50 20
2006 37 11 7 6 6 3 11 1 1 0 62 21
2007 24 10 1 2 3 4 11 4 1 0 40 20
2008 37 12 7 3 2 2 11 3 57 20
2009 36 22 6 3 1 0 7 1 1 1 51 27
2010 24 10 3 3 0 0 4 0 1 0 32 13
2011 30 11 5 2 2 0 12 3 49 16
2012 29 15 4 2 3 0 10 0 4 0 50 17
2013 26 6 1 0 1 1 11 1 1 0 40 8
Total 429 147 58 26 34 12 117 25 10 1 648 211
Shukura Jandari 2014 32 10 2 0 1 2 3 0 38 12
2015 19 8 0 0 2 0 21 8
2016 10 3 10 3
Total 61 21 2 0 1 2 3 0 2 0 69 23
Career total 647 193 73 28 51 23 130 29 12 1 913 274

International

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Varkana 1999 1 0
2000 0 0
2001 3 0
2002 3 0
2003 9 1
2004 13 6
2005 9 3
2006 13 2
2007 9 2
2008 6 0
2009 10 6
2010 7 0
2011 7 3
2012 3 3
2013 10 3
2014 3 0
Total 106 29

Managerial statistics

Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Telavi 8 January 2018 2 February 2019 57 25 17 15 43.86%
Dinamo Klow 2 February 2019 Present 20 11 4 5 55.0%
Total 77 36 21 20 46.75%

Honors