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Murtaz Shelia

Personal information
Full nameMurtaz Shelia
Place of birthTbilisi, Georgian SSR, then Soviet Union
Playing positionDefender

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Murtaz Shelia (born 25 March 1969) is a former football defender who was capped 29 times for Georgia between 1994 and 1998.

His clubs included Dinamo Tbilisi, 1. FC Saarbrücken, Spartak-Alania Vladikavkaz, Manchester City and Lokomotivi Tbilisi. With Dinamo Tbilisi, Shelia formed part of a Georgian league championship winning team for five years in a row, from 1991 to 1995. In 1995 he joined Spartak-Alania Vladikavkaz of the Russian league, where, as one of five Georgians on the books of the North Ossetians, he helped the club win the Russian league title in his first season.

Two years later Shelia joined English club Manchester City, where his former Dinamo Tbilisi team-mate Georgi Kinkladze was the star player. He marked his debut with a goal at Birmingham City, though Manchester City lost the match 2 1. Six weeks later he was joined in defence by another Georgian, Kakhaber Tskhadadze, but as the season reached its conclusion injuries restricted Shelia's appearances. At the end of the season Manchester City were relegated, entering the third tier for the first time in their history. The following season Shelia made just three appearances before sustaining a career-threatening injury against Reading in October 1998, his final appearance for the club. In 2000 he was released from his contract. After attempting a brief comeback with Lokomotivi Tbilisi, he retired in 2001.

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