Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 October

"Özbiliz" surname tells story of Armenian Genocide survivor


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 16, ARMENPRESS. The surname of the midfielder of the Armenian National Football Team and FC Spartak Moscow Aras Ozbiliz has an interesting and deep story. As reports "Armenpress" citing Yerkir.am website, lecturer at the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture Araks Marutyan shared her discoveries regarding the Armenian footballer's surname. She had a meeting with Aras Ozbiliz and his family members, who arrived in Armenia to watch Armenia-Bulgaria football match.

Among other things the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture Araks Marutyan underscored: "I was lucky to meet the Ozbiliz family. I had very interesting feelings. To see the man in the stadium and then see him surrounded with his family members are two quite different things. "Özbiliz" means one, who preserves his identity. Aras' great grandfather, who managed to survive the massacres, had to live a basement. He used to stand in front of the mirror and speak Armenian, in order not to forget the Armenian language. In future, he had no documents, and he proved that he is an Armenian only due to the language. That's why he took surname "Özbiliz" (one, who preserves his identity)."

Aras Özbiliz is an Armenian football player who currently plays right-winger for the Armenian national team and for Russian Premier League club Spartak Moscow.

Aras was born on 9 March 1990 in the Bakırköy district of Istanbul, Turkey toArmenian parents. He was named after the Aras River, a body of water in Armenia. His ancestors adopted the surname "Özbiliz". Their family name was once Zbilizyan. In the early 1990s, his family emigrated from Turkey to the Netherlands. Five years later, he started playing football for the youth team of HVV Hollandia. When he was eight years old, Aras joined the youth team of Ajax.

Aras Ozbiliz is a product of the Ajax youth academy. Prior to moving to Ajax as a youth, he played for HVV Hollandia in his home town of Hoorn where he grew up. At the age of 8, he participated in tryouts for the Amsterdam side, and was chosen to play for Ajax, having represented Ajax on every stage of the youth academy, before making his debut for the A selection in 2010 under then coach Martin Jol. On 24 July 2007, in a friendly match against Argentinean club Independiente, Aras managed to score three goals within 7 minutes, which turned out to be a personal record.

On 24 February 2012, in a Europa League match against Manchester United, Aras became the first Ajax player to ever score a goal against Manchester United in a European cup match at Old Trafford.

On 4 May 2012 press-service of Kuban Krasnodar announced that they were in talks to acquire Ozbiliz. However, only on 8 August this transfer was officially announced. Aras was transferred for a sum of €1 million. The contract was signed for 4 years until 2016.

On Friday, 26 July 2013 it was announced that Özbiliz had signed a multi-year contract with Spartak Moscow, with Kuban Krasnodar earning €10 million on the transfer fee.

In mid-May 2010, Aras Özbiliz was invited by the Football Federation of Armenia to take part in the formation of the youth national team of Armenia.

In early October 2011, Aras was called to play the match against Armenia and Macedonia, which was held on 7 October. On 4 October 2011, on order of the President Serzh Sargsyan, Aras Ozbilis received Armenian citizenship and became a player of theArmenia national football team. Özbiliz was given from the President of the Football Federation of Armenia Ruben Hayrapetyan an Armenia team T-shirt with the number 23. 

On 29 February 2012, Aras debuted for the national team of Armenia during a friendly match with Canada and scored a goal in that same match.




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