Russian World Cup star Igor Akinfeev’s wife is Ekaterina Gerun, a Ukrainian-born model, actress, dancer and aspiring filmmaker who studied chemistry before pursuing a career in the entertainment world. The goalkeeper for Russia’s national team and his wife have two young children together. Here’s what you need to know about the 31-year-old Ekaterina Gerun Akinfeev:
1. Igor Akinfeev & Ekaterina Gerun, Who Have a Son & Daughter, Dated for Several Years & Had Their First Child in 2014
Igor Akinfeev kept his private life quiet for many years and in 2014 revealed he had his first child with his wife, Ekaterina Gerun, according to a documentary about him. He and his wife have now have two young children, their son, Daniil, and their daughter, Evangeline.
In a recent interview, Igor talked about his family life. He said he is not sure if his son will follow in his footsteps and play soccer, saying, “we play with him, but it’s stupid to look so far,” according to an English translation of the interview. :The main thing is to grow up a good, worthy person. And let the profession choose for yourself to your liking.”
He said while he enjoys his soccer career, he said it is not always a “peaceful” life, saying it is “very difficult,” and “not everyone will cope.”
2. She Was Born in Ukraine as the Daughter of a Writer & Teacher
She grew up in Kiev, Ukraine, in an “intelligent” family and is the daughter of a writer and language and literature teacher, she said in a 2016 interview.
Ekaterina Akinfeev’s name is translated and spelled many different ways on the Internet, along with Ekaterina Gerun, she goes by Katy Gerun on social media. Other sides have listed her name as Ekaterina Akinfeeva, Katerina Gerun, Katerina Akinfeev, Katia Gerun, Catherine Gerun and Catherine Akinfeev.
3. She Studied Chemical Engineering at the National Pharmaceutical University in Kharkov
Katerina Gerun Akinfeev studied chemical engineering at the National Pharmaceutical University in Kharkov, Ukraine, according to her Facebook page. She wanted to be a pharmacist, but eventually chose a different career path. But she said in a 2016 interview that her memories of being a student are pleasant.
“With my studies, like, probably, everyone had a lot of funny stories. One day, as a laboratory work, I was given the task of making naphthalene. It did not turn out very quickly for me, but it was extremely high-quality, that is, odorous,” she said, according to an English translation of the interview. “However, I failed to hand it over to the teacher on time. It did not happen for the second time, and for the third time. All the time something was wrong: there is no teacher, then the closet for chemicals is closed. So I took him in public transport for three weeks. The people shied away from me, and all the books and notebooks were smelling so that until the end of their studies they still reminded me of that mothball.”
4. She Has Worked as a Model & Dancer, Competed in Miss Universe-Ukraine & Recently Started Studying at the Moscow Film School
Katy Gerun Akinfeev has had many careers. She has been a model, a dancer and has competed in beauty pageants, including the Miss Universe Ukraine contest, according to interviews she has done over the years and her social media profiles. Recently, she started studying at the Moscow Film School, according to her Facebook page. She posted a link to a short film she created as part of her prep course at the film school. You can watch that video here.
A video on YouTube shows her dancing in a music video and photos on VK, the Russian version of Facebook, document her time as a model.
She said in a 2016 interview that she grew up speaking Ukrainian and Russian, but also speaks English and French. She said she constantly practices the foreign languages so she can excel at speaking them. She has worked in the film industry in the past, using her language skills. She would read the script for a film distribution company that would purchases rights to foreign films to show in Ukraine, Russia and the Baltic states. She said they were low-level films, not Hollywood blockbusters, because it was a small company. She would read the script in English and then tell the film company’s management what the movie was about. They then discussed it and decided whether it was worth buying the rights or not. She said in that 2016 interview that she also helped promote the films they bought. During one event, they brought Sarah Jessica Parker to St. Petersburg to meet with a Russian minister.
About her pageant career, she said in that 2016 interview that she did compete in Miss Universe qualification in Ukraine, but finished in fourth place. “So I did not go anywhere,” she said.
She told the news outlet that she is “not bored” by her life as a mother, she said her children are her “leisure, my work and all the necessary set of positive emotions.” She also said that her family is Orthodox and she periodically goes to the temple. Her children were baptized in the church, but she said they do not go to Sunday school. She said they will be told about their traditions and the Orthodox holidays.
5. The Couple Lives Outside Moscow, Where Igor Akinfeev Has Been a Goalkeeper for CSKA Moscow Since 2003
Igor Akinfeev and his wife live outside of Moscow, the city where he has played for CSKA Moscow in the Russian soccer league since 2003. Akinfeev is the key to any success Russia will have as the country hosts the World Cup, according to AFP. He is the team’s captain and has appeared in 106 games for his country. For his club team, Akinfeev has played in 565 games, won six league titles and has been named Russia’s top goalkeeper 10 times.
“He is the national team’s best player,” football federation vice president Nikita Simonyan told the AFP. “And another reason I like him is that he is simply a very good person. He is someone everyone respects.”
Akinfeev will have the support of his wife, who is often pictured on the sidelines at his games with their son and daughter, as he tries to carry Russia in the World Cup.
During an interview in 2015, Akinfeev’s Ukrainian-born wife talked about how she had fallen in love with Russia while falling for her husband. “- Only the blind does not see that this is an amazingly beautiful country. Igor in fact can easily do without world-famous resorts. Once he was presented with a book about the most beautiful, but not very famous places in Russia, so sometimes he reviews the photos for hours and imagines himself traveling on these lost edges,” according to a translation of the interview. “Here, for example, he dreams of traveling and traveling by ship to the cities of the Golden Ring. So, to make stops, slowly walking along the old streets and squares, go to temples and museums. I hope, someday we will make such a trip. The whole family.”