Nikita Rukavytsya

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Nikita Rukavytsya
Nikita Rukavytsya (2).JPG
Rukavytsya playing for Beitar Jerusalem in 2015
Personal information
Full nameNikita Vadymovych Rukavytsya
Date of birth (1987-06-22) 22 June 1987 (age 33)
Place of birth Mykolayiv, Ukrainian SSR
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) [1]
Playing position(s) Winger / Striker
Club information
Current team
Maccabi Haifa
Number 13
Youth career
2000 Torpedo Mykolaiv
2001–2003 Inglewood United
2003–2004 Perth SC
2005–2006 AIS
Senior career*
2007–2009 Perth Glory 42 (16)
2009–2010 Twente 5 (0)
2010Roeselare (loan) 9 (4)
2010–2012 Hertha BSC 56 (5)
2012–2014 Mainz 05 8 (0)
2013 Mainz 05 II 2 (0)
2013–2014FSV Frankfurt (loan) 19 (2)
2014–2015 Western Sydney Wanderers 23 (3)
2015–2016 Beitar Jerusalem 30 (14)
2016– Maccabi Haifa 68 (26)
National team
2006 Australia U20 1 (0)
2008 Australia U23 13 (1)
2009– Australia 18 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 14 September 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2018

Nikita Vadymovych Rukavytsya ( /nɪˈktərʊkəˈvɪtsə/ nih-KEET-ə ruu-kə-VIT-sə; [2] Ukrainian : Микита Вадимович Рукавиця, romanized: Mykyta Vadymovych Rukavytsya; born 22 June 1987) is an Australian professional football player who plays for Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Premier League. He began his career as a striker at Perth Glory but has played primarily as a winger since moving to Europe.


Personal life

Rukavytsya was born in Mykolayiv, Ukraine; his family moved to Australia when he was 14 years old, settling in Perth. [3] He played junior football for Inglewood United and Perth SC in the Football West State League while attending Mount Lawley Senior High School, before being offered a spot at the Australian Institute of Sport on a football scholarship.

Rukavytsya is married to an Israeli [4] and is currently in the process of obtaining Israeli citizenship. [5]

Club career

Rukavytsya joined Perth Glory on a short-term replacement deal in the latter stages of the 2006–07 A-League season, making three appearances for the club. In March 2007, he signed a contract with the Glory to keep him at the club until the end of the 2008–09 A-League season. [6]

After an excellent pre-season, the start of the 2007–08 A-League season was difficult for both Rukavytsya and Perth Glory. However, with the departure of coach Ron Smith, Rukavytsya turned his form around starting by scoring two goals against the Newcastle Jets in David Mitchell's first game as coach and another two goals against Melbourne Victory at home on 2 December 2007. [7] [8] By the end of the 2007–08 A-League season, Rukavytsya managed to score six goals in the last eight games of the campaign.

In April 2008 he was invited to trial with Hannover 96 in Germany. [9] It ultimately proved unsuccessful, and he returned to Perth Glory for the start of the 2008–09 season. [10]

In January 2009, he undertook a week-long trial at Dutch club FC Twente. [11] [12] After the last game of the 2008–09 A-League season, it was announced that he would officially be transferring to FC Twente in a transfer deal rumoured to be worth A$1.2 Million. [13] [14]

Rukavytsya scored his first goal for FC Twente in the club's 8–0 Dutch Cup drubbing of SC Joure. [15] On 8 January 2010, KSV Roeselare signed the Australian forward on loan until the end of the season. [16] [17]

On 14 July 2010, Rukavytsya signed for 2. Bundesliga side Hertha BSC. [18] His first season in the 2. Bundesliga was quite successful. He was a regular starter, scored four goals and ended the season with 12 assists, the second most in the league. [19] At season's end, Hertha BSC were promoted back to the Bundesliga and he hoped to feature again for the newly promoted team. [20]

On 31 August, Nikita signed with Bundesliga club Mainz 05 for a reported fee of €1 million, [21] just hours before the transfer cut-off. His last appearance for Berlin was 72 minutes against Jahn Regensburg in the 2. Bundesliga on 24 August 2012. [22]

Rukavytsya joined Frankfurt on a year-long loan deal in August 2013, after failing to break into the Mainz first eleven. [23]

On 12 October 2014, it was announced that Rukavytsya had returned to Australia to sign for the Western Sydney Wanderers. [24] He made his debut in round 3 against Wellington Phoenix. His first goal for the Wanderers came in round 16 against Wellington Phoenix.

In September 2015, Rukavytsya signed for Israeli side Beitar Jerusalem. [25]

On 8 June 2016, after one season with Beitar Jerusalem, Rukavytsya joined Maccabi Haifa on a three-year deal worth €400,000 per season. [26] After an unsuccessful 2016–17 season, the following season he scored nine goals in the first five months, including the final goal in a 3–0 cup win over rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv.

International career

While eligible to play for Ukraine, he decided to play for Australia and in 2008, represented Australia in the Australian U-23's Olympic Team at the 2008 Summer Olympics, locking his commitment to Australia.

After a good end to the 2007–08 season, he earned himself a place in the Olyroos squad for the Beijing Olympics and a Socceroos call-up. [27] [28]

Rukavytsya scored in a warm-up game for the Olyroos against Adelaide United. He also scored his first international goal for the Australian U-23's, in their 3–0 win over Croatian U-21's at the Intercontinental Cup in Malaysia on 16 May 2008. [29]

Rukavytsya was named in Pim Verbeek's 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He made two appearances off the bench for the Socceroos.

Rukavytsya scored his first international goal in a friendly against South Korea on 14 November 2012, Australia won 2–1.

In May 2018, he was named in Australia's preliminary 26-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. [30]

International goals

1.14 November 2012 Hwaseong Stadium, Hwaseong, South KoreaFlag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 1–11–2 International Friendly

Career statistics

As of 8 February 2020
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Perth Glory 2006–07 A-League 30000030 [31]
2007–08 2065200206 [31]
2008–09 191000001910 [31]
FC Twente 2008–09 Eredivisie 30000030 [32]
2009–10 20222062 [32]
Roeselare (loan) 2009–10 Belgian Pro League 944000134 [32]
Hertha BSC 2010–11 2. Bundesliga 3141000324 [33]
2011–12 Bundesliga 2411100252 [33]
2012–13 2. Bundesliga10000010 [34]
Mainz 05 2012–13 Bundesliga80100090 [34]
FSV Frankfurt 2013–14 2. Bundesliga1921000202 [35]
Western Sydney Wanderers 2014–15 A-League2330051284 [32]
Beitar Jerusalem 2015–16 Israeli Premier League 301420003214 [32]
Maccabi Haifa 2016–17 Israeli Premier League2144100255 [32]
2017–18 321053212514 [32]
2018–19 35984004313 [32]
2019–20 231541313017 [32]
Career total30182381412335199


FC Twente
Hertha BSC

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