From 1990 till 2023, due to socio-economic and socio-political reasons, Georgia was abandoned by more than 2 million citizens who relocated to Europe, North America and Asia from their post-soviet republics. According to the Census 1989, the population of Georgia was about 5.5 million but in 2014 it reduced to 3 million 713 thousand people. The exact number of the current population of the country will be known at the end of the census, which will take place at the end of 2024.
Some of the Georgian youngsters living abroad successfully practice amateur and professional sports, playing in the clubs of their countries of residence, and some even play in the national, junior and youth teams of Georgia.
WHO IS ZOURAB SOPROMADZE Georgian football player Zurab Sopromadze, was born and raised in Caen, France and has attracted the view of French football specialists and media in recent months. The 21-year-old successfully plays for “AG Caen” from August 2022 to the present day, a club that ranks second in the French third league “Nacional 3” with a chance to move to the second league at the end of the season.
RECOGNITION At the end of January, the “Ouest France” newspaper published a long article by the journalist Arnaud Hedouin dedicated to Zurab (see the newspaper). The article quotes AG Caen head coach Olivier Meurillon as saying that he “quickly noticed the attacking potential of midfielder Sopromadze”. At the end of March, the “Sport à Caen” news agency’s journalist Oscar Bellec wrote a lengthy article dedicated to Zurab. The article states that Sopromadze was recognized as the best player in five matches of the third league of the French championship, the journalist, citing the team’s coaches and his observations, notes “Sopromadze’s technical game”, wrote that Zurab “justifies the hopes of the club and the fans of the team.”
On April 6th, Zurab received another recognition, he is included in the symbolic team of the best young football players (U 21, Joueurs nés après le 1er Janvier 2001) playing in the French Championships leagues – “Nacional 1”, “Nacional 2” and “Nacional 3”.
CAREER BEGINNINGS The author of these lines met Zurab five years ago after hearing about his success in France. Before the pandemic, together with his Georgian-born parents, he annually came to Georgia. Zurab was born on 03/22/2002 and grew up in the city of Caen, Normandy, northwest of France. Zurab began his career in football at the age of five at the club “La Butte” (Caen), the young Georgian’s technical game attracted the attention of specialists, and in 2013-2017 he played in the children’s and youth teams of the first division club “SM Caen”, in 2017-18 for “Maladreri-Omnis Sport Caen U17 Nacional”, where he captained the team, in 2019-2022 he successfully played for FC “Mondeville” Caen, and in August last year was invited to the club of the third league “AG Caen”.
EYES ON GEORGIAN FOOTBALL Zurab has dual citizenship (French and Georgian), and he closely follows the Georgian national team events “I dream of playing for the Georgian national team, I know that there is a lot of competition to get into the national team, but as a footballer, I will do my best to improve my game and attract the view of the coaching staff of the Georgian national team,” Sopromadze said.
Remarking that his younger brother, 12-year-old George, is also a footballer -he now plays for the club “AG” Caen.
Zurab was included as one the best young football players (U 21, Joueurs nés après le 1er Janvier 2001) playing in the French Championships leagues – “Nacional 1”, “Nacional 2” and “Nacional 3”.
Credit: AIPS Media