Former AC Milan and Dynamo Kiev footballer Kakha Kaladze has been offered the position of second deputy prime minister in the new Georgian government.
The political landscape in the country has changed drastically after the oppositional Georgian Dream coalition won the parliamentary election on October 1.
The coalition’s leader, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, has announced the composition of his government on Monday.
Kaladze was put in charge of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, as well as appointed deputy PM in the new cabinet.
The former captain of the Georgian national team, who quit sports this May, has been involved in politics for the last couple of years.
The previous government tried to close the bank he owned and hampered his other business activities in the country due to his involvement in oppositional activities.
Kaladze, one of the most famous Georgian athletes inside the country and abroad, won the vote in the single-member districts in his hometown of Samtredia during the election.
“Sport has always been my life, I played in memorable matches, derbies and finals, but the emotions I feel today can’t be compared to anything as the future of the country is at stake,” he told Italy’s Corriere della Sera paper on Election Day.
According to Kaladze, “liberalization of business and recovery of exports” are currently the primary task for Georgia.
“We have fertile land, but we import potatoes from Turkey, tomatoes and cucumbers from Bulgaria. We produce excellent wines, but the Russian market is closed because of the embargo,” the 34-year-old explained.
Kaladze played for such sides as Dynamo Tbilisi, Dynamo Kiev and Genoa during his 19-year career.
But he’s most famous for his nine-year stay at AC Milan in 2001–2010, which saw him winning the Italian Serie A in 2003/04 as well as two Champions League titles.