By Laman Ismayilova
Australian football player Nikita Rukavytsya has signed a contract with Neftchi football club.
The football player started his career as a striker at Perth Glory but has played primarily as a winger since moving to Europe.
Founded in 1906, Neftchi has won nine Azerbaijan Premier League titles, seven Azerbaijan Cups and two Azerbaijan Supercup titles. The club is one of the two teams in Azerbaijan, along with Qarabağ, which has participated in all Azerbaijan Premier League championships so far.
In 2012, it became the first Azerbaijani club to advance to the group stage of a European competition after defeating APOEL 4–2 on aggregate in the play-off round of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League.
World-famous referee Tofiq Bahramov originally played for Neftchi but a serious leg injury prevented him from continuing his playing career and he became a referee.
In 2012, Neftchi qualified for the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League group stage, being the first Azerbaijani team to advance to this stage in a European competition. Neftchi managed to get three points in six matches, drawing with Partizan both times and holding Internazionale away at the San Siro.
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